To Our Friends in Wrestling Around the world


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


  TOKAMACHI, Niigata Prefecture (June 18) - Seiko and Miyu Yamamoto, both former world champions, came away with a win and a loss in a pair of trial matches at the women’s national team training camp. Seiko earned a 6-4 triumph over reigning 55-kg world champion Saori Yoshida in a highly anticipated match-up between two of the world’s top wrestlers for a berth on Japan’s team for the world championships in New York.

  Miyu, however, could not match the fire in national champion Makiko Sakamoto as the high school student from Aichi Prefecture avenged a loss in May to the 28-year-old veteran with a fall.

  Seiko took away the powerful double-leg takedowns of Yoshida with good use of her hands and a front headlock that wore down her rival. She then converted in par terre twice to take a 5-1 lead at the intermission. Yoshida answered in the second period by adding a feint before her takedown attempts as she cut the deficit to 5-4. Seiko, however, coolly spun around behind for the final point as she claimed her second straight win over Yoshida after a loss in the Japan’s Queen Cup final.

  Seiko’s older sister, Miyu, also got off to a good start with the first point, but Sakamoto came back with a double-leg takedown at the buzzer for a 3-1 lead after the first period. Sakamoto came out for the second period with another double-leg that put Miyu on her back for the fall after only 26 clicks on the clock.

  The matches were wrestled at the Nihon University training camp facilities. The third trial match will be held in Tokyo on July 16 before the Japan Wrestling Federation decides on its line-up for September’s world championships.


  TOKYO (June 24) - The Japan Wrestling Federation named its teams for this year’s world championships at a meeting of the JWF board of directors in Tokyo. The final line-up for the women’s team will be named after the final round of trial matches on July 16. The names announced by the JWF for the women’s squad are all candidates. The teams are as follow:

Head coach - Hideaki Tomiyama
Coaches - Masakazu Hijikata, Takahiro Wada
55 kg - Chikara Tanabe
60 kg - Ryosuke Ota
66 kg - Kazuhiko Ikematsu
74 kg - Kunihiko Obata
84 kg - Hidekazu Yokoyama
96 kg - Yoshihiro Nakao
120 kg - Kohei Suwama

Head coach - Atsushi Miyahara
Coaches - Hiromichi Ito, Hiroshi Kado
55 kg - Masatoshi Toyoda
60 kg - Makoto Sasamoto
66 kg - Masaki Imuro
74 kg - Katsuhiko Nagata
84 kg - Shingo Matsumoto
96 kg - Kenzo Kato
120 kg - Katsuaki Suzuki

Women (Candidates)
Head coach - Akira Suzuki
Coaches - Shigeo Kinase, Kazuhito Sakae, Ryo Kanahama
48 kg - Makiko Sakamoto, Miyu Yamamoto
51 kg - Hitomi Sakamoto, Chiharu Icho
55 kg - Saori Yoshida, Seiko Yamamoto
59 kg - Rena Iwama
63 kg - Kaori Icho
67 kg - Norie Saito
72 kg - Kyoko Hamaguchi


  TOKYO (June 15) - The Japanese men’s national wrestling teams kicked off a “100-day training camp” at the national training center, the Japan Institute of Sports Science (JISS), in Tokyo. From the start of the training until this fall’s world championships, about 10 wrestlers from the national team will stay at the training center or a nearby hotel along with national team coaches Takahiro Wada and Hiromichi Ito.

  Each day’s training schedule will begin at 7 a.m. with breakfast and will include three practice sessions a day. Some of the wrestlers will also practice outside of the training center with the Self-Defense Forces Physical Training School or with their university clubs.

  During the training camp, nutrition will be managed by the training center staff. The national team members will also use the JISS weight room and other facilities. The Japan Wrestling Federation held extended training camps before the 1964 Olympic Games in Tokyo and the 1988 Olympics in Seoul.

  “The difference between Japan and the world’s top wrestlers is now a single piece of paper. Somehow we have to give the wrestlers confidence,” national team director Hideaki Tomiyama said. “Some of the wrestlers have families, but if they are not ready to make the sacrifice, they cannot obtain the kind of strength to win against the rest of the world,” Tomiyama added. He then asked the wrestlers to give their best since the training camp might seem long, but it is only a brief time in one’s life.


  TOKYO (June 25) - Japan’s national team freestyle wrestlers from 55 kg to 84 kg left for Russia where they will train with a local team in Kaliningrad and then wrestle in the Beloglazov International Tourney. The Beloglazov tourney is scheduled for July 5-6. The Japanese team will return to Japan on July 8.