To Our Friends in Wrestling Around the world


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


   SOFIA (February 15) - Results in championship bracket matches involving Japanese wrestlers at the 2nd Olympic freestyle wrestling qualification tournament Universiada Hall in Sofia:

60 kg (24 entries)

INOUE, Kenji (Self Defense Forces)

QF - df. Alexander Karnitzky (BLR), 3-2

  Inoue opened the bout with an ankle pick that dropped Karnitzky to his back for a 3-0 lead. Most of the rest of the bout was a battle for control of the tie-up. Inoue was hit with a passive call one minute into the second period and Karnitzky converted with a gut wrench to narrow the margin to 3-2. Karnitzky got one more chance in par terre with 10 seconds remaining, but Inoue put up a solid defense and refused to be turned.

SF - df. Oyunbuleg Purevbaatar (MGL) by default

  The two-time world runner-up bowed out of the semifinals for medical reasons.

F1 - v. Ibrahim Abdulrahman (QAT)
96 kg (26 entries)

KODAIRA, Kiyotaka (Tokyo Metropolitan Police)

QF - lost to Aleksei Krupniakov (KGZ), 0-8

   Kodaira could not match the raw power of Krupniakov. Krupniakov used snap-downs and front headlocks to keep Kodaira off balance and then would spin around behind for points one at a time in a one-sided bout.

  Freestyle national team coach Takahiro Wada said later that he had hoped to take wrestlers at all seven weight categories to the Olympic Games in Athens. apan will send five wrestlers to the freestyle competition."I thought we had a chance to go at every weight. It's very regrettable. All the wrestlers worked so hard. When you qualify five wrestlers, you always want a sixth and a seventh," Wada said.

  At the conclusion of the quarterfinal round, a total of 38 nations had qualified wrestlers for the Olympic freestyle event. Of those nations, host Greece, Iran, the United States, Russia and Bulgaria had qualified wrestlers in each weight category.