To Our Friends in Wrestling Around the world


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


NOVI SAD, Serbia and Montenegro (February 27) - Preliminary pool
groupings involving Japanese wrestlers for the 1st greco-roman wrestling
Olympic qualifying tournament at Vojvodina Sports Center:
55 kg (29 entries, 9 pools)
TOYOTA, Masatoshi (Tokyo Metropolitan Police Department)
Pool A
R1 - v Elgin Elwais (PAL)
R2 - v Jansel Martinez (DOM)
R3 - bye
Note: Pool B includes Asia champion Asset Imanbayev (KAZ), Pool C
includes 2002 European champion Renat Bikkinin (RUS).
60 kg (30 entries, 10 pools)
SASAMOTO, Makoto (Sogo Seibi security employee)
Pool J
R1 - bye
R2 - v Aliaksandr Slivinski (BLR)
R3 - v Ali Ashkani Agboloag (IRI)
Note: Slivinski was 4th in Europe last year, Agboloag was 2nd in Asia.
QF opponent could well be Shevtsov of Russia.
66 kg (36 entries, 12 pools)
IMURO, Masaki (Japan Self Defense Forces)
Pool A - Masaki Imuro (JPN)
R1 - v Peter-Georg Philippitsch (AUT)
R2 - v Vladimir Tatarski (SCG)
R3 - bye
Note: To get to the semifinals, Imuro may have to face Asia bronze
medalist Kanatbek Begaliev of Kyrgyzstan and winner of Pool C which includes
Atlanta gold medalist Ryszard Wolny (POL) and three-time Olympic medal
winner Juan Maren (CUB).
74 kg
Japan has already qualified.
84 kg (28 entries, 9 pools)
MATSUMOTO, Shingo (Ichimiya Transport, employee)
Pool I
R1 - v Alexej Michin(RUS)
R2 - v Luiz Mendez (CUB)
R3 - v Filip Soukup (CZE)
Note: One of the toughest draws of the competition. Michin is world
runner-up in 2001 and reigning European champion and Mendez was world
champion in 1999. In the quarterfinals, Matsumoto could face last year's
Asian champion Abdullah Jabrailov of Kazakhstan.
96 kg (33 entries, 11 pools)
KATO, Kenzo (Japan Self Defense Forces)
Pool F
R1 - bye
R2 - v Vinko Kadecka (CRO)
R3 - v Masoud Hashemzadeh (IRI)
Note: Hashemzadeh was bronze medalist at Busan Asian Games and 2001
junior world champion.
120 kg (26 entries, 8 pools)
SUZUKI, Katsuaki (Tokyo Metropolitan Police Department)
Pool A
R1 - bye
R2 - v Barzi Sajad (IRI)
R3 - v Miriani Giorgadze (GEO)
Note: Giorgadze was 20th in Sydney. Helger Hallik of Estonia in Pool
B was fifth in the 2002 world championships.