To Our Friends in Wrestling Around the world


By William May
(Japan Amateur Wrestling Federation, Public Information Committee


   BUDAPEST (October 1) - Shingo Matsumoto pinned a former world runner-up and was another lift and throw away from the medal round on the sixth day the wrestling world championships. Matsumoto defeated last year's Asia champion Ghasem Rezaei of Iran in the first round at 84 kg and then pinned 2002 world bronze medalist Badri Khasaia of Georgia on his way to the quarterfinals at Papp Laszlo Arena in Budapest.

   In the quarters, Matsumoto stunned former world bronze medalist Alexander Daragan of Ukraine with a five-point throw early, but could not convert his early momentum into a win. Matsumoto had to settle for eighth place -- his best finish in four trips to the world championships.

Meanwhile, Masaki Imuro posted a win at 66 kg and then bowed out with a loss to Li Yanyan of China, following a controversial call about his hand position at the start of par terre. National team newcomer Yuki Iwasaki had a couple of chances to beat the Mediterranean Games champion from France, but could not put the 74-kg match away.
Results of Japanese entries:

Greco-roman 66 kg - IMURO, Masaki (16th, 39 entries)

Q - df. Valijon Jonhurozov (UZB) by disq., 2P=1:07
Imuro cruises in the first period with a lift while laying a caution on his young opponent in a 4-1 win. He adds two more cautions in the second period to win by disqualification.

R1 - lost to Li Yanyan (CHN) by disq., 3P=1:00
Imuro takes the first period with a lift, but takes a leg penalty by preventing a Chinese throw. He is penalized again in the second when he cannot score in par terre and then is hit with a third caution for an improper grip to start. Li is later beaten by Korea's Kim Min-Chul, eliminating Imuro from wrestle-back contention.
Greco-roman 74 kg - IWASAKI, Yuki (19th, 33 entries)

R1 - lost to Christophe Guenot (FRA), 2-1 (6-1, 1-3, 2x-2)
Iwasaki scores with a lift in the second period to even the match at 1-1 and then takes the lead with gut wrench in par terre in the third period. He is hit with a leg penalty when he is on the bottom and losses on criteria. Iwasaki is knocked out of the tournament when Guenot loses in the next round to Olympic silver medalist Marko Yli-Hannuksela of Finland.
Greco-roman 84 kg - MATSUMOTO, Shingo (8th, 39 entries)

R1 - df. Ghasem Rezaei (IRI) by disq., 3P=2:00

Matsumoto split the first two periods with last year's Asia champion as neither wrestler can convert in the par terre position. Rezaei is hit with his third caution as the third period comes to a close.

R2 - df. Badri Khasaia (GEO) by fall, 3P=1:38
Matsumoto and the former world runner-up trade penalties and periods over the first four minutes. Khasaia takes the lead in the third period with a takedown, but has to score in par terre to avoid disqualification. Khasaia misfires on a lift and Matsumoto ends up on top and holds for the fall.

QF - lost to Alexander Daragan (UKR), 1-2 (0-5, 1x-1, 3-0)
Matsumoto shocks the 2001 world bronze medalist with a five-point lift and throw in the first period. He escapes and holds on for a penalty point to open his half of par terre in the second period, but cannot score himself and loses on last-point criteria.

In the third period, Matsumoto tries to escape from par terre but when he stands up, Dragan drops him for three points. In his 30 seconds, Matsumoto has his opponent in the air but cannot get the final turn that would have propelled him into the semifinals. Daragan lost to Olympic champion Alexej Michin of Russia in the semifinals, eliminating Matsumoto from a chance at repechage.