To Our Friends in Wrestling Around the world
By William May
（Japan Amateur Wrestling Federation, Public
October wrestling news
OLYMPIANS 2ND IN SPORT FESTIVAL GRECO
NIIZA, Saitama Pref. (October 27) - Olympic veterans Makoto Sasamoto
and Katsuhiko Nagata had to settle for silver medals on the final day of
wrestling competition at the National Sports Festival hosted by Saitama
Prefecture. Sasamoto, who finished fifth in Athens at 60 kg, fell to reigning
national champion Masaki Imuro in overtime in the 66-kg greco-roman final
at Niiza Municipal Gymnasium.
Nagata, meanwhile, a silver medalist at 69 kg four years ago in Sydney
and Japan's representative at 74 kg in Athens, lost 3-0 to Shuhei Taniguchi
in the 84-kg title match. In the schoolboy finals at Shiki Municipal Gymnasium,
Isshin Kuramoto of Shiga Prefecture added the sports festival crown to
his national invitational, junior national and high school greco-roman
Senior greco-roman finals:
Tomoya Murata (Shiga) df. Kohei Hasegawa (Shizuoka), 4-0
Ikuhiro Yanagawa (Gunma) df. Shingo Hirai (Tokyo), 3-0
Masaki Imuro (Saitama) df. Makoto Sasamoto (Kanagawa), 3-1, OT 6:13
Taichi Suga (Tokyo) df. Atsushi Kano (Gifu), 8-1
Shuhei Taniguchi (Saitama) df. Katsuhiko Nagata (Chiba), 3-0
Noriaki Ota (Saitama) df. Yusuke Morikaku (Nagano), 2-0, 9:00
Kenzo Kato (Saitama) df. Naoki Sawada (Yamaguchi), 3-2
Schoolboy division winners
50 kg - Toshio Taguchi (Osaka)
55 kg - Kazuma Kuramoto (Shiga)
60 kg - Tatsuhiro Yonemitsu (Yamanashi)
66 kg - Shuhei Kuraya (Yamanashi)
74 kg - Naoki Kadoma (Akita)
84 kg - Masaaki Yano (Nara)
96 kg - Masaki Kudo (Akita)
120 kg - Minoru Shigemura (Kumamoto)
YOKOYAMA WINS OLYMPIC SHOWDOWN AT FESTIVAL
NIIZA, Saitama Pref. (October 25) - Seasoned veteran Hidekazu Yokoyama
won in a battle of Olympic team members to claim the 84-kg freestyle title
at the National Sports Festival in Saitama Prefecture.
Yokoyama, representing Akita Prefecture, needed overtime to edge Yamanashi's
Kunihiko Obata 3-0 in the freestyle finals at Niiza Municipal Gymnasium.
Obata, who finished 13th at 74 kg in this year's Athens Olympics, lost
to Yokoyama in the NSF final for a second straight year. Meanwhile, in
the schoolboy division, Shigeki Osawa (Ibaraki, 60 kg); Shu Miyahara (Akita,
66 kg); Aoi Otsuki (Oita, 74 kg), Ryota Kigura (Ibaraki, 96 kg) and Shinken
Arakida (Aomori, 120 kg) each added the NSF title to national invitational
and national championship crowns won earlier this year. Otsuki also won
the JOC Cup cadet national championship last spring.
Senior freestyle finals:
Takeshi Sugitani (Saitama) df. Seshito Shimizu (Fukushima), 3-0
Hidenori Yamamoto (Saitama) df. Masaki Wakayama (Gifu), 6-0)
Takayuki Suzuki (Kyoto) df. Yukihiro Toida (Shimane), 5-1
Yutaka Suzuki (Saitama) df. Kazuyuki Nagashima (Fukushima), 4-0)
Hidekazu Yokoyama (Akita) df. Kunihiko Obata (Yamanashi), 3-0, OT 6:42
Kiyotaka Kodaira (Tokyo) df. Yoshitsugu Yoneyama (Gunma) by TF, 4:20
Akihito Tanaka (Fukuoka) df. Seitaro Yoshida (Akita), 5-0
Schoolboy division winners:
50 kg - Atsushi Irie (Tochigi)
55 kg - Teppei Ayatani (Ibaraki)
60 kg - Shigeki Osawa (Ibaraki)
66 kg - Takashi Miyahara (Akita)
74 kg - Aoi Otsuki (Oita)
84 kg - Tetsuro Asami (Saitama)
96 kg - Ryota Kogure (Ibaraki)
120 kg - Nobuyoshi Arakida (Aomori)
NAZARIAN TO FIGHT IN MIXED MARTIAL ARTS MEET
TOKYO (October 25) - Two-time Olympic greco-roman wrestling champion Armen Nazarian of Bulgaria is scheduled to compete at the ZST-GP2 mixed martial arts meet in Tokyo on November 3. Nazarian won Olympic gold medals at 52 kg in Atlanta in 1996 and at 58 kg in Sydney four years ago. Nazarian, who won world titles in 2002 and 2003, however, had to settle for the bronze medal in Athens.
Nazarian is well-known in Japan after defeating Makoto Sasamoto in
a quarterfinal bout in Athens after an apparent leg penalty was overlooked
by the officials. Nazarian has indicated that will continue wrestling until
the 2008 Olympics in Beijing while also competing in mixed martial arts
WOMEN'S WORLD CUP TV RATINGS HIT 14.6%
TOKYO (October 12) - The World Cup of women's wrestling, hosted in
Japan on October 8-9, scored an average viewership rating of 8.8 percent
in prime time with a peak rating of 14.6 percent on October 9. The finals
of the World Cup were aired on Nihon Television (NTV) from 7 p.m. to 8:54
p.m., Japan's so-called 敵olden Hour,・on October 9. The viewership ratings
measured the number of households watching television during that time
in the Kanto area around the Tokyo metropolitan region.
Fuji Television ran away with the ratings with a 33.2 percent for
a special variety program, while the semi-official Japan Broadcasting Company
(NHK) was second with 23.3 percent and 16.5 percent for its weather programs
following a powerful typhoon that swept over the area. The Tokyo Broadcasting
System (TBS) scored a 10.9 percent with a quiz program while TV Asahi registered
an 8.8 percent with its airing of a Pacific League baseball playoff game.
The ratings between 8 p.m. and 9 p.m., however, saw the World Cup
broadcast improve to 10.7 percent ahead of the baseball playoffs (10.1
percent) and the TBS quiz program (10.0 percent) -- giving NTV the No.
2 ranking for private broadcasters during that time. A spot check at 8:49,
when the World Cup ratings hit 14.6 percent, moved NTV into second place
overall among all broadcasters.
STEINER CITES "LACK OF DISCIPLINE, COURAGE" IN U.S. TUMBLE
TOKYO (October 9) - The head coach of the defending champion U.S.
squad cited a lack of discipline and courage in his team's fall to fifth
place at the World Cup of women's wrestling. Terry Steiner noted that when
72-kg entry Toccara Montgomery did not make weight for the event, the team
became discouraged and failed to rise to the challenge. With Montgomery
out of the line-up, the U.S. squad managed only one win against four losses.
In the losses to China and Russia, a victory by Montgomery could have reversed
the outcome and given the U.S. third place. "Off the mat, we lacked
discipline. And, on the mat, we lacked courage," a dejected Steiner
said after the competition, adding that the team needed to look at ways
to correct the problem.
On support from USA Wrestling, Steiner indicated that things were
much better financially since women's wrestling has become an official
Olympic event. However, he called for a better system to bring up young
TWO U.S. MEMBERS WRESTLING AT HOME IN JAPAN
TOKYO (October 9) - Two members of the U.S. team at the World Cup
of women's wrestling enjoyed the feeling of wrestling before a "hometown"
crowd -- even though it was their first time competing in Japan. Veteran
Stephanie Murata and national team rookie Tela O'donnell both have connections
to Japan and were excited to be wrestling in Tokyo. O'donnell, 22, whose
grandfather and grandmother on her father's side hail from Japan, added
"I really want to learn more about Japanese culture since I have Japanese
blood in me. The Japanese people are so kind."
O'donnell qualified for the U.S. Olympic team by defeating two-time
world silver medalist Tina George, but was unable to advance out of her
pool in Athens. After meeting Japan's 55-kg ace Saori Yoshida on the mat
for the first time in Tokyo, O'donnell conceded that there was a huge gap
between her and the Olympic gold medalist. O'donnell, who finished second
in the individual World Cup rankings at her weight, said she hoped to close
the gap with Yoshida as she improved on the different aspects of her wrestling.
Murata, 33, meanwhile, missed a chance to wrestle in the 2003 World
Cup meet in Tokyo, where the United States upended Japan for the title.
Murata was runner-up at 51 kg in the world championships in 2001, but had
to move up to 55 kg for a chance to make the Olympic team. But, like two-time
world champion Hitomi Sakamoto in Japan, Murata came up short. In the World
Cup, however, Murata looked strong and sharp, losing only to Sakamoto while
claiming second at 51 kg. As for the 2008 Olympics in Beijing, Murata said
"I don't know yet what the weights will be for Beijing, but as much
as possible I hope to continue wrestling."
||Murata and her
NORDHAGEN HOPING BEIJING SEES 7 WTS FOR WOMEN
TOKYO (October 9) - Six-time world champion Christine Nordhagen was
not her usual dominating self at the World Cup in Japan, but she is still
hoping that she will have another chance at the Olympics in 2008 in Beijing.
Nordhagen trailed Japan's unheralded Eri Sakamoto 3-1 in Canada's opening
dual against Japan before rallying for three points in the final 20 seconds.
She also dropped a 3-1 decision to Russia's Elena Perepelkina.
Nordhagen explained that another wrestler was scheduled to compete
in the World Cup at 67 kg, but she was asked to go to Japan for the competition
at the last moment. Nordhagen said she had thought about retiring from
wrestling after Athens, but added she would continue for the time being.
Before the start of the World Cup, Nordhagen said in a separate interview
that "There is no age limit in the Olympics! I don't know if I'll
continue wrestling until Beijing, but I would like to wrestle as long as
I can." "I am really hoping that all seven weight categories
(for women) will be contested in Beijing," said Nordhagen, adding
that she would like to compete at 67 kg rather than giving up weight to
the women at 72 kg.
HAMAGUCHI RUNS IN ANNIVERSARY OF TOKYO OLYMPICS
TOKYO (October 10) - Athens Olympic bronze medalist Kyoko Hamaguchi
kicked off a torch relay at National Stadium to commemorate the 40th anniversary
of the opening of the 1964 Olympic Games in Tokyo. 的 was so happy to selected
as the first runner to hold this commemorative flame,"Hamaguchi said.
"I was really moved when I saw the cauldron at National Stadium lit."
Osamu Watanabe, freestyle gold medalist at 63 kg in the Tokyo Games, was
one of the Olympic medalists to march into the stadium with the Olympic
Saori Yoshida and Kaori Icho, gold medalists at the Olympic debut
of women's wrestling in Athens this past summer, were among the Olympic
medalists who paraded into the stadium as part of the ceremony.
STUDENT BODY ANNOUNCES UNIVERSIADE TRAINING SCHEDULE
TOKYO (October 10) - The All-Japan Student Wrestling Federation announced
its training schedule for members of its teams scheduled to compete in
the World University Games in Turkey next August.
Trials for the Universiade team will be held at the national training center
in Tokyo on March 26.
The student federation decided to begin its preparations for the
university games with weekend training camps this fall. Selected student
team members will train with the senior national teams as well. The federation
also plans to send some of its representatives to the Dave Schultz Memorial
in the United States in early February. Schedule of weekend training camps
(freestyle at Senshu University,
greco-roman at the national training center): October 16-17; November 6-7;
January 22-23 and February 19-20.
NIHON UNIV. WINS COLLEGIATE DUALS CROWN
TOKYO (October 7) - Defending champion Nihon University posted a
decisive 5-2 win over Nippon Sports Science University to claim its 10th
title overfall at the Japanese Collegiate Dual Meet Championship. Waseda
University, one of Japan's elite academic institutions, also scored a 5-2
win over Kokushikan University for third place at Komazawa Gymnasium.
West Japan's lone entry in the one-day meet Ritsumeikan University
of Kyoto upset last year's runner-up Senshu University in the first round.Nihon
University's Masashi Saito was named the tournament's outstanding wrestler,
while Yoshitsugu Yoneyama of NSSU was given the Fighting Spirit Award.
ATHENS OLYMPIC MEDALISTS FETED
TOKYO (September 30) - Some 800 guests and officials, including members
of the Japanese government and ministries, celebrated the six medals Japan
won in wrestling at the Olympic Games in Athens this summer. Gold medalists
Saori Yoshida and Kaori Icho each received gifts from three sponsor companies
totaling 3 million yen each and 5000 dollars from another company.
They also received a commemorative medal made of pure gold worth
1 million yen while their families received travel coupons for 700,000
yen in the gala affair at Meiji Memorial Hall in central Tokyo.The Japan
Wrestling Federation, meanwhile, presented sponsors companies and organizations
with formal letters of appreciation as Japan.