To Our Friends in Wrestling Around the world
By William May
（Japan Amateur Wrestling Federation, Public
Kyodo World Services, senior sports writer：firstname.lastname@example.org）
WOMEN’S TRAINING CAMP IN ROME CANCELLED
TOKYO (JULY 1) - The Japan Wrestling Federation’s plans to hold a
training camp in Rome prior to the opening of the women’s wrestling competition
at the Athens Olympics were cancelled over difficulties in arranging a
practice site. The Japanese women will hold their final training camp at
the national training center in Tokyo from August 6 before leaving for
Athens on August 12.
Five-time world champion Kyoko Hamaguchi is scheduled to be the Japanese
delegations flag-bearer for the opening ceremony of the Games on August
13. Hamaguchi and her three teammates -- Chiharu Icho, Saori Yoshida and
Kaori Icho -- will make their final preparations in Athens for the debut
of women’s wrestling in the Olympic Games.
Each of Japan’s entries in women’s wrestling is widely considered
a leading contender for the gold medal at her weight category. Japan’s
nine entries in freestyle and greco-roman, meanwhile, will take part in
the opening ceremony and then make their final preparations in Hungary.
WOMEN’S WRESTLING RESTORED TO 2006 ASIAN GAMES
TOKYO (July 2) - The Olympic Council of Asia decided to restore women’s
wrestling to the 2006 Asian Games in Qatar’s capital city of Doha, Japanese
Olympic sources reported. Women’s wrestling was not originally included
on the program for the
games in Doha because of the nation’s Islamic beliefs.
FILA, however, requested that women’s wrestling be included in the
continental version of the Olympic Games. Weight categories and the type
of uniforms to be allowed have not been decided. Also, the OCA decided
to award the 2010 Asian Games to the Chinese city of Guangzhou.
WOMEN GET READY FOR ATHENS WITH WATERFALL TRAINING
OSAWANO, Toyama (July 2) - Japan’s four entries in the first women’s
Olympic wrestling competition took a break from training to strengthen
their determination in the chilly waters of the waterfall at Oiwasan nissekiji
Kyoko Hamaguchi, Saori Yoshida and the Icho sisters, Chiharu and Kaori,
each braved the chilly waters (about 10 C/50 F) in the pool beneath the
7-meter waterfall near the temple. They then went through the ritual purification
of their spirits by standing beneath the cascading water. “I shed all
the negative thoughts and desires and focused on my goal,” Kyoko Hamaguchi
said. “I’m ready for Athens, filled with determination.”
“The water pounding on the back of my neck really hurt -- more than
trying to stop an opponent’s takedown,” Saori Yoshida said. “It has
tempered my body and my spirit.”
In addition to the waterfall purification, the four women also had
a chance to try their hands at ceramics and made an appeal to the Buddhist
god of fire Fudomyo at the temple.
MEN’S TEAM PREPARES FOR ATHENS WITH ZEN EXERCISES
TOKYO (JULY 7) - Japan’s freestyle and greco-roman entries at the
Athens Olympics underwent Zen training as part of their preparation for
the August 133-29 Games.
The five freestyle and four greco-roman wrestlers called on the Tokyo
headquarters of the Urasenke school of tea ceremony for a session with
the traditional Japanese discipline as well as zazen training. During the
age of Warring States in the 14th century, Japanese warriors would practice
tea ceremony as an exercise in calming their spirits before battle.
The head of the Urasenke school, Mr Sengenshitsu, taught tea ceremony
to the Japanese judo team before the Sydney Olympics in 2000 and hopes
tranquility of the tea ceremony will also benefit the Japanese wrestlers
in Athens. “I think positive results will occur if you have a tranquil
spirit. Please take this tranquility with you to Athens,” said Mr Sengenshitsu,
the 15th head master of the Urasenke school.
H. SAKAMOTO, SHODA WIN AT CANADA CUP
TOKYO (JULY 13) - Hitomi Sakamoto and Ayako Shoda won individual titles
to lead the charge for a select non-student team from Japan at the Canada
Cup freestyle competition in Guelph. Sakamoto won the women’s 51-kg title
by fall over Lyndsay Belisle, Canada’s entry at 48 kg for the upcoming
Olympic Games in Athens.
Shoda, meanwhile, recorded a pair of falls to take the women’s 63-kg title
and was voted the outstanding foreign wrestler in the women’s competition.
Eri Sakamoto added a third title for the Japanese women with a 4-1 victory
over Stefanie Horowun at 67 kg.
In the men’s competition, Shinya Odate and Kiyofumi Kanabuchi claimed silver medals at 60 kg and 66 kg, respectively.
Results of Japanese entries:
Men, 55 kg - TOKUDOME, Akira (4th, 9 entries)
1R - df. Brandon Eyer (CAN) by TF
SF - lost to Maridid Robhary (IRI) by fall, 2:11
C1 - won by TF (name not available)
F3 - lost to Frank Mensah (CAN), 7-4
Men, 60 kg - ODATE, Shinya (2nd, 10 entries)
R1 - df. Jesse Arnett (CAN) by TF
R2 - df. Sabastian Jakobczyk (POL) by fall
SF - df. Tayezi Behnam (IRI), 4-2
F1 - lost to Yandro Quintana (CUB) by TF
Men, 66 kg - KANABUCHI, Kiyofumi (2nd, 10 entires)
R1 - df. Evan MacDonald (CAN), 4-2
R2 - df. David Kalverda (CAN) by TF
SF - df. Ron Tarquinio (USA), 9-0
F1 - lost to Aliafghar Dazri (IRI), 6-1
Men, 74 kg - NAGASHIMA, Kazuyuki (dnp, 16 entries)
R1 - lost to Daniel Igali (CAN), 5-4
C1 - lost to Danny Brown (CAN), 3-1
Men, 84 kg - SHIBATA, Hiroshi (5th, 8 entries)
R1 - lost to Greg Parker (USA) by TF
C1 - df. Jonathan Rioux (CAN), 6-5
C2 - df. Carl Fronhoffer (USA), 7-6
C3 - lost to Greg Parker (USA), 13-5
F5 - df. Victor Sprenger (CAN), 7-6
Women, 51 kg - SAKAMOTO, Hitomi (1st, 8 entries)
R1 - df. Keritin Condello (USA) by fall
SF - df. Audrey Peng (CAN) by TF
F1 - df. Lyndsay Belisle (CAN) by fall
Women, 55 kg - NAKANISHI, Hatsumi (2nd, 6 entries)
SF - df. Laura McDougall (CAN) by fall
F1 - lost to Tonya Verbeek (CAN) by TF
Women, 59 kg - WATANABE, Sayuri (3rd, 6 entries)
R1 - df. Danielle Taylor (GBR) by fall
SF - lost to Breanne Graham (CAN) by fall
C1 - df. Justine Bouchard (CAN), 8-6
F3 - df. Amy Dyck (CAN) by fall
Women, 63 kg - SHODA, Ayako (1st, 7 entries)
SF - df. Viola Yanik (CAN) by fall
F1 - df. Helen Hennick (CAN) by fall
67 kg - SAKAMOTO, Eri (1st, 2 entries)
F1 - df. Stefanie Howorun (CAN), 4-1
AKAISHI NAMED COACH FOR AFGHANISTAN
TOKYO (July 20) - Kosei Akaishi has officially been registered as a
coach for the Afghan wrestling team at the Athens Olympics, informed sources
reported. Akaishi has been coaching Afghanistan’s entry to the Games,
freestyle wrestler Bashir Ahmad Rahmati (55 kg), in Greece since the beginning
It will be Akaishi’s fifth trip to an Olympic Games. Akaishi won the
silver medal at 62 kg at the 1984 Los Angeles Games, took 4th at 68 kg
in Seoul and then claimed a bronze at the 1992 Barcelona Games. Akaishi
was a national team coach for the Japanese squad at the Sydney Olympics
four years ago.
JWF HOLDS SEND-OFF FOR ATHENS-BOUND GRAPPLERS
TOKYO (JULY 24) - The Japan Wrestling Federation held a send-off party
for its Athens-bound Olympians after the Japanese Olympic delegation was
officially launched on July 24. The men took a break from their training
camp in Nagano while the women got a day off from their own camp in Niigata.
JWF president Tomiaki Fukuda promised the wrestlers a bigger party
after they take gold medals in Athens.
TOKAMACHI HOLDS SEND-OFF FOR WOMEN
TOKAMACHI, Niigata (July 28) - The Niigata mountain village of Tokamachi
held a send-off party for Japan’s entries in female wrestling at the upcoming
Athens Olympic Games. The delegation which included Japan’s coaches and
wrestlers was greeted by nearly 300 citizens of Tokamachi with a large
round of applause as they entered the hall where the party was being held.
The team was presented with gifts of locally grown rice and a thousand
paper cranes that had been folded by students at the local elementary and
junior high school.
Head coach Akira Suzuki promised that each of Japan’s four entries
in the wrestling competition would return with a gold medal to show the
citizens of Tokamachi.