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）
TOYOTA DEFEATS '02 WORLD CHAMP IN OLYMPIC
TASHKENT (March 14) - Masatoshi Toyota
capped his Olympic qualification run Sunday
with a 5-3 come-from-behind victory over
2002 world champion Gaidar Mamedaliev of
Russia. Toyota qualified for this summer's
greco-roman wrestling event at the Athens
Olympics with a 3-2 overtime win over 1992
Olympic champion Oleg Kutscherenko in the
quarterfinals at 55 kg earlier in the day.
Shingo Matsumoto also qualified for the
Athens Games with a quarterfinal win at 84
kg. Matsumoto took third place with a fall
against Vladislav Metodiev of Bulgaria.
In Sunday's finals, Toyota lost three
points to Mamedaliev after being thrown from
the clinch to start the second period. The
Tokyo police officer, however, forced a passivity
call and converted with a reverse waistlock
and back-arching throw for five points and
"To be honest, I didn't think I
could win. I was only sure about the
win after I made the throw for five points,"
Toyota said. "When I got the passivity
call that led to the reverse waistlock, I
made eye contact with (Japan Wrestling Federation)
President Fukuda and he showed me that he
knew I could do it. I'm happy that I could
answer his confidence in me."
Matsumoto, meanwhile, was disappointed
that he didn't make it to the finals at 84
kg, but added "The first thing was making
it into the Olympics." Regarding his
quarterfinal win against 1999 world champion
Luis Mendez of Cuba, Matsumoto said "When
I knew that I would have to face Mendez again
(after losing to him two weeks ago), I decided
that absolutely I was going to win this time."
"Not being able to wrestle in the
Sydney Olympics was a bitter memory. But,
my goal is not just to wrestle in the Olympics.
I want to win a medal," Matsumoto added.
In the semifinals, Toyota defeated India's
Mukesh Katri by injury default after building
up a 7-0 lead while Matsumoto lost 4-1 to
Armenia's Levon Geghamyan, who finished fourth
in the 2002 world championships.