To Our Friends in Wrestling Around the world


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


    ATHENS (August 28) - Results of bouts involving Japanese entries in the fourth session of the freestyle wrestling competition August 27-29 at Ano Liossia Olympic Hall:
55 kg (22 entries, 7 pools) - TANABE, Chikara

Pool D
1R - df. Namig Abdullayev (AZE), 5-2
2R - df. Yogeshwar Dutt (IND), 4-3
3R - bye
QF - df. Kim Hyo-Sub (KOR) by TF, 10-0, 2:29
SF - lost to Stephen Abas (USA), 3-0

F3 - df. Amiran Kartanov (GRE), 7-0

  Tanabe opened the scoring with a pair of takedowns in the first period (2-0). In the second period, he followed up on a third takedown with exposure (4-0) and added a point with a ・gut wrench・around the thighs (5-0). Tanabe then closed out the scoring with an ankle lace (7-0) for the bronze medal. With Tanabe's medal, Japanese wrestlers have won at least one medal in each Olympic Games since 1952 except for the 1980 Moscow Olympics in which Japan did not compete because of a boycott. ・I feel lucky to be here and I have to thank the other members of our team,・said Tanabe. ・It's not the gold medal and that's disappointing, but many people are happy and I feel good about that.・

・I really think that except for a judging error (Makoto) Sasamoto should also have won a medal for Japan,・Tanabe added about his former university teammate who lost on a controversial call in the greco-roman competition. National team coach Takahiro Wada remarked ・When I wrestled in Atlanta, I only wanted the gold medal so I didn't wrestle my best in the bronze medal match and lost. I reminded Tanabe (after his loss in the semifinals) that
it is important for a wrestler to give his all in every match.・
60 kg (19 entries, 6 pools) - INOUE, Kenji

Pool F
1R - lost to Damir Zakhartidonov (UZB), 3-2
2R - df. Jung Young-Ho (KOR), 7-2

3R - df. Lubos Cikel (AUT) by TF, 13-0, 5:41

   Inoue had trouble getting started and could only manage a lone takedown in the first period (1-0). Inoue came out aggressively in the second period and converted a par terre chance with a bar arm for exposure and a near fall (4-0). He broke the match open with a three-point double-leg takedown and cruised to the technical fall. The victory put Inoue into the semifinals despite a fall registered by Jung Young-Ho (KOR) over Damir Zakhartidonov (KAZ). Both wrestlers had eight classification points and Jung had 23 technical points to Inoue's 22. However, Inoue had won the head-to-head match with Jung, which is the first tie-breaker when two wrestlers are tied.・After my loss (to Zakhartidonov in the first round), I didn't think I had much of a chance to reach the semifinals, but I kept fighting just in case,・Inoue said. ・It was also the first time since college that head coach (Hideaki) Tomiyama has been in the second's chair for me , so I was under a bit of pressure...・
74 kg (22 entries, 7 pools) - OBATA, Kunihiko
1R - bye
2R - df. Sujeet Mann (IND), 8-0
3R - lost to Ivan Fundora (CUB), 8-0

   Obata fought off Fundora's first attack in the par terre position, but soon surrendered a takedown and the lead. A three-point takedown shortly after and Fundora had opened up a 6-0 lead by the break. In the second period, Obata could not find any openings against the Cuban and had to settle for a 13th-place finish overall.