To Our Friends in Wrestling Around the world


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


KRASNOYARSK, Russia (January 31-February 2) - Rena Iwama overcame a first-round loss and came back through repechage to win the 59-kg crown at the Yarygin Memorial international wrestling tournament. Norie Saito and Ayako Shoda, meanwhile, added silver medals for Japan in the nine-nation women’s tourney and Japanese high school student Makiko Sakamoto took a third place.

  Iwama of the Replay wrestling club could not score in her opening match with Gratseva of Russia, but won her next two bouts in pool competition to qualify for the repechage group. Iwama, the 2000 world silver medalist at 62 kg, stormed through the
repechage bracket and then rolled over Perepelkina of Russia in the semifinals.
In the championship finals, Iwama came out aggressively to take the early lead against Smolyakova of Russia and then held off a late charge by her opponent for her second triumph in a major international competition following her victory in last year’s World Cup of women’s wrestling.

  At 67 kg, Saito of the Japan Beverages club also lost in her preliminary pool, but advanced to the championship final on criteria. In the final, however, Saito gave up four points on takedowns and could not catch up against Svetlana Yaroshevich of Russia.

  In the second half of the women’s competition, former world champion Shoda upended reigning 59-kg world champion Alena Kartashova of Russia in the preliminaries at 63 kg. The Toyo University student, however, fell to Kartashova when the two
met again in the championship final.

  At 48 kg, Chukyo Women’s University high school student Sakamoto breezed through her pool competition before losing to Inga Karamchakova of Russia in the semifinals. Sakamoto, younger sister of FILA’s female wrestler of the year in 2000 Hitomi Sakamoto, however, came back for third place with an 8-5 win over American Patricia Miranda.


TOKYO (February 28) - The Japan Wrestling Federation has named its squads for a second round of tours for competitions in Europe this season. The Japanese women’s team departs for Sweden on March 5 to compete in the Klippan Ladies Open on March 8-9. The team will then travel to Poland for a training camp with a local team and then to compete in the Poland Open tournament in Lodz on March 14-16.

  World champion Saori Yoshida and a few other wrestlers were left off the women’s squad for a number of reasons including injuries. Meanwhile, a women’s select trio, led by five-time world champion Shoko Yoshimura, will travel Guilin, China for an international competition on March 13-14.

  The men’s greco-roman team, fresh from a successful trip to the United States for the Concord Cup and Dave Schultz Memorial in February, leave for Greece on March 18. In Greece, they will train with a local team and then compete in the Acropolis international meet March 28-30.

  The men’s freestyle team departs for Belarus on March 25 to compete in the Alexandre Medved tourney in Minsk on March 29-30. They then travel to Sofia, Bulgaris for a joint training camp and the Dan Kolov meet on April 5-6.

The squad line-ups are:

Women (Sweden, Poland)
Team manager - Akira Suzuki
Coach - Ryo Kanahama
48 kg - Miyu Yamamoto (Poland Open only)
51 kg - Chiharu Icho
55 kg - Seiko Yamamoto
63 kg - Kaori Icho
67 kg - Norie Saito
72 kg - Kyoko Hamaguchi

Women (China)
Team manager - Shigeo Kinatsu
48 kg - Shoko Yoshimura
55 kg - Chikako Matsukawa
72 kg - Fumiko Murashima

Team manager - Hiromichi Ito
55 kg - Masatoshi Toyoda
60 kg - Makoto Sasamoto
66 kg - Masaki Imuro
74 kg - Katsuhiko Nagata
84 kg - Shingo Matsumoto

Team manager - Hideaki Tomiyama
Coach - Takahiro Wada
55 kg - Chikara Tanabe
55 kg - Tomohiro Matsunaga
60 kg - Ryosuke Ota
66 kg - Kazuyuki Miyata
66 kg - Kazuhiko Ikematsu
74 kg - Kunihiko Obata