To Our Friends in Wrestling Around the world

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By William May
iJapan Amateur Wrestling Federation, Public Information Committee
Kyodo World Services, senior sports writerFwmay52@hotmail.comj


3 SHAKAIJIN WRESTLERS 4TH IN FRANCE


@@TOKYO (December 3) - Three members of Japanfs gshakaijinh select greco-roman team finished fourth at the Henri Deglane international meet in Nice, France on November 28-29. Hiroshi Shimomura (60 kg), Mitsuo Tomiya (66) and Shinobu Komukai (84) are all members of the Japanese Self-Defense Forces Physical Training School and were standouts in this yearfs shakaijin (non-student senior) national championships.

@@Shimomura lost to Hamou Oubrick of France 0-3 in the bronze medal match at 60 kg, while Tomiya went down 0-5 to Moises Sanchez of Spain at 66 kg. Komukai was pinned by Ukrainefs up-and-coming Dmitri Zaporoshenko at 84 kg.

FEMALE WRESTLING OUT OF 2006 ASIAN GAMES IN DOHA


@@TOKYO (December 1) - Officials of the Japanese Olympic Committee (JOC) attending the Olympic Council of Asia (OCA) meeting in Kuwait reported that female wrestling has not been included on the program for the 2006 Asian Games in Doha, Qatar. It was suggested that female wrestling will be held in Doha because of Qatarfs fundamental Islamic belief that a womenfs skin must not be exposed.

@@In a related development, it was learned that wrestling, both for men and women, would not be held at the East Asian Games in Macao in 2005. It now appears that female wrestling, which was held at the 2001 East Asian Games in Osaka and the 2002 Asian Games in Busan (Korea), is beginning to encounter some obstacles.

IKEMATSU, S. YAMAMOTO ADDED TO JOC SUPPORT LIST


@@TOKYO (December 6) - World bronze medalist Kazuhiko Ikematsu and four-time world champion Seiko Yamamoto were added to the JOCfs gAh list of athletes for training support when the Japanese Olympic Committee (JOC) announced its expanded list on December 6. Ikematsu took the bronze medal at 66 kg in the menfs freestyle world championships in New York in September, while Yamamoto won the world title at 59 kg in the womenfs event.

@@At the same time, Norie Saito, who has finished in the top eight in the world championships two years in a row, was added to the JOCfs gBh list. Wrestling now has six athletes on the JOCfs gAh list, third only to swimming with 14 and nine for judo. This excludes the womenfs softball team, which has 15 players and is listed as a gteam sport.h

@@Meanwhile, Makoto Sasamoto, who fell from his ranking in the top eight in the world championships at 60 kg, and 2002 Asian Games champion Shingo Matsumoto (84 kg)were dropped from the JOCfs gBh list. Sasamoto, who had finished seventh in the world championships in 2001, fell to 13th in the 2003 meet in October along with Matsumoto.

@@The JOC lists are determined by an athletefs performance at the world championships and other major competitions. Four or more points earns an athlete a place on the gAh list and two or more points gets an athlete on the gBh list. Wrestlers on the JOC lists are (with ranking points in parentheses):

@gElite Ah
Kyoko Hamaguchi, women 72 kg (8 points)
Saori Yoshida, women 55 kg (7)
Kaori Icho, women 63 kg (7)
Chiharu Icho, women 51 kg (7)
Seiko Yamamoto, women 59 kg (5)
Kazuhiko Ikematsu, menfs freestyle 66 kg (4)

@gElite Bh
Chikara Tanabe, menfs freestyle 55 kg (2)
Norie Saito, women 67 kg, (2)

JAPAN MOVES TOWARD HOSTING AFGHAN WRESTLING COACHES

@@TOKYO (December 15) - The Japan Wrestling Federation received a request from Afghanistan via the Japanese Foreign Ministry, saying the country would like to send wrestling coaches to Japan to study. JWF President Tomiaki Fukuda has indicated that he would like to realize the request, permitting 2-3 coaches to join the Japanese national team and study the Japanese coaches methods.

@@Since Afghanistan is just beginning emerge from decades of civil strife and Taliban rule, the level of Afghan wrestling still not very high. With the likelihood that an Afghan wrestler earning a berth for the 2004 Athens Games in the Olympic qualifying tournaments in February and March, it becomes more likely that 1-2 wrestlers may be awarded gwild cardh berths. Last year, the JWF sent national team coach Kosei Akaishi to Afghanistan for about two months to help the wrestlers there prepare for the Asian Games in Busan, Korea.

HICH SCHOOL SELECT TEAM COMPETES IN BELARUS


@@TOKYO (December 12-18) - A selection team of high school wrestlers traveled to Minsk on December 12 and competed a Belarus international meet on December 13. Asia cadet champion Tetsuya Saikawa of Ashikaga Kogyo in Tochigi took fourth place at 74 kg while Kohei Fujimoto of Hiryu high school in Shizuoka finished in the top eight at 60 kg.

@@Some 200 wrestlers from nine countries took part in the competition. The Japanese boys also squared off with two local select teams, drawing 4-4 in meets against a Belarus select squad and one from Minsk.

TOKYO SPORTSWRITERS CLUB NAME IKEMATSU 2003 MVP


@@TOKYO (December 22) - Wrestling journalists of the Tokyo Sportswriters Club named Kazuhiko Ikematsu Japanfs wrestler-of-the-year for 2003. Ikematsu won the bronze medal at 66 kg at the freestyle world championships in September, claiming Japanfs first medal at the world meet since 1995.

WRESTLING BODIES NAME ANNUAL AWARD WINNTERS


@@TOKYO (December 22) - National wrestling bodies affiliated with the Japan Wrestling Federation announced their wrestlers of the year for 2003.

@@The winners were:

Shakaijin - Yukihiro Toida

University - Kazuyuki Nagashima, Waseda University. Three-time collegiate open champion, two-time collegiate national champion.

High School - Noriyuki Takatsuka, Kasumigaura (Ibaraki). Winner of eight national high school titles over two years and junior national champion

Middle School - Hiroki Nagata, Yaei Middle School (Kyoto). Title winner in middle school national championship meet.

Elementary School - Atsushi Ogawa, Yokkaichi Juniors Wrestling Club (Mie). Champion in schoolboys national meet for seventh straight year.

Women - Chiharu Icho, Chukyo Womenfs University; Saori Yoshida, CWU;
Seiko Yamamoto, Japan Beverage; Kaori Icho, CWU; Kyoko Hamaguchi, Japan
Beverage. World champions.

Masters - No award given.