To Our Friends in Wrestling Around the world


By William May
(Japan Amateur Wrestling Federation, Public Information Committee


  TOKYO (December 21) ・Akihito Tanaka bagged his seventh national title of the year Tuesday as he won the 120-kg freestyle crown on the opening day of the Japanese national championships tournament. Tanaka of Senshu University defeated Aomori high school star Shinken Arakida 2-0 (6-0, 7-0) in the 120-kg final at Yoyogi National Gymnasium in Tokyo for his fourth straight senior national crown.

  Earlier this season, Tanaka won titles at the All-Japan invitational and the national sports festival as well as all four major collegiate crowns. Tanaka, who is a senior at Senshu, is the fourth wrestler to win four straight national senior titles as a student. Arakida, meanwhile, became the first second-year student in high school
to reach the finals of the senior nationals.

  In other finals, Masaki Imuro won his fifth straight national championship with a victory by fall over Masaaki Izena in the 66-kg greco-roman final. Hatsumi Nakanishi downed five-time defending national champion Rena Iwama for the crown at 59 kg in the women's competition. Seven were determined on the first day of the national championships
which are being contested under the new rules proposed by the international wrestling federation FILA.

1st day results:


66 kg (11 entries)

Championship final
Masaki Imuro df. Masaaki Izena by fall, 2:05
(Imuro wins 5th title in a row and 5th overall)

Masaki Imuro df. Noritomo Eto, 2-0 (1-0, 3-0)
Masaaki Izena df. Shinya Ayata 2-1 (2-0, 0-7, 3-0)
96 kg (10 entries)

Championship final
Yusuke Morikaku df. Kenzo Kato, 2-1 (1-3, 1-0, 1-0)
(Morikaku wins 3rd title overall, 1st in 3 years)

Kenzo Kato df. Masateru Komoto, 2-0 (1-0, 7-0)
Yusuke Morikaku df. Nobuhiko Maeshima, 2-0 (2-0, 1-0)
120 kg (8 entries)

Championship final
Hirokazu Shinjo df. Katsuaki Suzuki, 2-0 (1-0, 1-0)
(Shinjo wins 1st national title)

Katsuaki Suzuki df. Naoki Sawada, 2-1 (0-3, 1-0, 1-0)
Hirokazu Shinjo df. Hideki Maruyama, 2-0 (1-0, 1-0)

96 kg (11 entries)
Championship final
Kiyotaka Kodaira df. Takenori Yokoyama , 2-0 (2-0, 6-0)
(Kodaira wins 2nd straight title, 3rd overall)

Kiyotaka Kodaira df. Yosuke Yoneyama by fall, 2:50
Takenori Yokoyama df. Kenzo Sakamoto, 2-0 (1-0, 1-0)
120 kg (13 entries)

Championship final
Akihito Tanaka df. Shinken Arakida, 2-0 (6-0, 7-0)
(Tanaka wins 4th straight title)

Akihito Tanaka df. Kazuki Shinkai, 2-0 (1-0, 3-0)
Shinken Arakida df. Katsuya Kitamura, 2-1 (1-1, 0-1, 1-0)

59 kg (9 entries)
Championship final
Hatsumi Nakanishi df. Rena Iwama, 2-0 (4-1, 3-1)
(Nakanishi wins 1st title)

Rena Iwama df. Kei Yamana, 2-0 (2-0, 3-0)
Hatsumi Nakanishi df. Mio Nishimaki by fall, 3:11
67 kg (6 entries)

Championship final
Norie Saito df. Eri Sakamoto, 2-1 (0-2, 5-3, 2-0)
(Saito wins 3rd overall title, 1st in 2 years)

Norie Saito df. Maki Tsukamoto by fall, 0:30
Eri Sakamoto df. Mimi Sugawara, 2-0 (3-1, 2-0)