To Our Friends in Wrestling Around the world


By William May
(Japan Amateur Wrestling Federation, Public Information Committee
Kyodo World Services, senior sports


  KALININGRAD, Russia (July 6) - Japan's Chikara Tanabe prevailed over a talented field to repeat as 55-kg champion at the Beloglazov International freestyle wrestling tournament in Kaliningrad on July 5-6.

  Kazuhiko Ikematsu, runner-up in last month's Asia championships, collected his second silver medal in an international meet at 66 kg while veteran Hidekazu Yokoyama added another silver medal for Japan at 84 kg.
Tanabe of the Tokyo Metropolitan Police Department opened his run to the title with a 7-3 win over Mohammad Rezai of Iran, the bronze medalist in last year's Asian Games.

  Tanabe, the Asian Games runner-up, also claimed a 6-0 win over 2001 European champion Ghenadi Tulbea of Moldova in the semifinals before capping his performance with a technical fall victory over Russia's Sanaa Meegen.
"The level of competition at 55 kg was pretty high, but it seems that all the tough wrestlers were in my half of the bracket," Tanabe said. "I really wasn't aiming for it, but I'm happy to win here for a second straight year."

  At 66 kg, Ikematsu was the victim of the overtime clinch again as he fell 2-3 to Ramazan Abdirahomanov of Russia in the championship final. Ikematsu, who was thrown for three points in a 2-3 loss in the final of the Asian championships, was caught unprepared by an apparent quick whistle and lost his grip for the decisive point against Abdirahomanov.

  "My opponent appeared to have confidence he could win in the clinch, so he really wasn't trying for a third point (in regulation)," said Ikematsu. "I guess I have to wrestle so I don't have to face an overtime clinch."

  Akita high school teacher Yokoyama also lost in an overtime clinch to Majid Khodaee of Iran 1-3 after holding the world bronze medalist to only two points over regulation.

  The freestyle team now returns to practice in Japan in preparation for the world championships at New York's Madison Square Garden in September.

Results of Japanese entries:

 55 kg - TANABE, Chikara (Tokyo MPD)
1R - bye
2R - df. Mohammad Rezai (IRI) 7-3
3R - df. Talgat Jaiwenov (KAZ) by TF, 3:20
QF - df. Nyrzad Babak (IRI) 5-2
SF - df. Ghenadi Tulbea (MDA) 6-0
F1 - df. Sanaa Meegen (RUS) by TF, (time not available)

 60 kg - OTA, Ryosuke (Tokyo MPD)
1R - df. Antre Boitexovskii (LTU) by TF 11-0, 2:15
2R - df. Beisebael Melrjan (KAZ) 4-3
3R - bye
QF - lost to Esir Ilie (MDA) 4-5

 66 kg - IKEMATSU, Kazuhiko (NSSU instructor)
1R - bye
2R - df. Aor Ivanov (RUS) by TF 10-0, 5:59
3R - df. Romadin Dmitrii (RUS) by default
QF - df. Sair Salaytdinov (RUS) 8-0
SF - def. Myrat Anmetov (RUS) 3-1
F1 - lost to Ramazan Abdirahomanov 2-3, OT (TNA)

 74 kg - OBATA, Kunihiko (Sogo Seibi)
1R - lost to Ivon Diaconu (MDA) 3-4
2R - df. Abel Diamadydin (RUS) 6-4
3R - bye

 84 kg - YOKOYAMA, Hidekazu (Akita Shogyo)
1R - bye
2R - df. Dacent Aka Akis (FRA) 7-1
3R - df. Lambert Maxmydov (RUS) by fall, 2:59
QF - df. Georgi Tibilov (RUS) 3-2
SF - df. Coran Gatchiev (BLR) 7-3
F1 - lost to Majid Khodaee (IRI) 1-3, OT (TNA)