To Our Friends in Wrestling Around the world


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


   BUDAPEST (September 26) - A promising start for Japan on the first day of the world wrestling championships ended in disappointment as three Japanese freestyle entries left Papp Laszlo Sport Arena empty-handed.

   Tomohiro Matsunaga upended former world champion Rene Montero of Cuba in his second bout at 55 kg, but was denied a medal by Asian rivals Dilshod Mansurov of Uzbekistan and Naranbaatar Bayaraa of Mongolia. Mansurov defeated Matsunaga in the semifinals 1-0, 1-0 and went on to claim his second world championship title, while Universiade champion Naranbaatar shocked Matsunaga with a huge double-leg on his way to victory in their bronze medal match.

   Kazuhiko Ikematsu, a world bronze medalist two years ago, started off with a pair of easy wins at 66 kg in the morning, but was pinned by 2003 junior world champion Geandry Garzon of Cuba in the quarterfinals.
Ikematsu was eliminated from competition and had to settle for 11th place when Garzon fell to Russia's Makhach Murtazaliev in the semifinals. Garzon, this year's Pan American champion, rebounded for a bronze medal. Murtazaliev, meanwhile, went on to win his first world title with a 1-0, 1-0 triumph over 2001 world champion Serafim Barzakov of Bulgaria.

At 60 kg, Japanese national team newcomer Kenichi Yumoto lost his opening match to Olympic champion Yandro Quintana, but came back with a 2-1, 4-1 win against last year's European champion Tevfik Odabasi of Turkey in the first round of repechage.

Yumoto missed a chance to advance to the bronze medal matches when he fell 1-0, 1-1 to two-time world runner-up Purevbaatar Oyunbileg of Mongolia. Yumoto's final ranking was 13th. Quintana lost to Russia's Alan Dudaev in the gold medal match, while Purevbaatar came up short in his bronze medal match with Seyed Mourad Mohammadi of Iran.

Results of matches involving Japanese entries:

Freestyle 55 kg - MATSUNAGA, Tomohiro (5th, 30 entries)

Q - df. Francisco Sanchez (ESP) by TF, 2-0 (6-0=1:50, 7-0=2:00)
Matsunaga scores at will with elbow shucks and tilts. Has his opponent in a pinning position as time runs out.
R1 - df. Rene Montero (CUB), 2-1 (0-2, 2x-2, 5-4)
Matsunaga drops the first period and trails 0-2 in the second when he rolls Montero onto his back with a reverse fireman's carry to win the period 2-2 on criteria.
In the third period, Matsunaga rolls through on Montero's single-leg attack for a 2-2 exchange. With Montero in control on top, Matsunaga stands and flips the former world champion to his back with leg trap and reap for a 5-3 lead and then holds on for the win.

QF - df. Yang Jae-Hoon (KOR), 2-0 (3x-3, 3-1)
Matsunaga gives up the early lead but rebounds to take the first period with a snap-down and go-behind. He opens up the second period with a single-leg and snap-down for a 2-0 and then hangs on down the stretch.

SF - lost to Dilshod Mansurov (UZB), 2-0 (1-0, 1-0)
In a repeat of the semifinals of this year's Asian championships, Matsunaga cannot break through the tight defense of the 2003 world champion.
Mansurov forces Matsunaga out of bounds for a point in the first period and then scores off a single-leg as time runs out in the second period.

F3 - lost to Naranbaatar Bayaraa (MGL), 2-0 (5-0=1:10, 2-0)
Matsunaga takes the lead midway through the first period with a three-point uchimata leg trip, but Naranbaatar answers moments later with a double-leg attack that sends Matsunaga through the air for a five-point ippon period win. Naranbaatar, this year's Universiade champion, keeps up the attack in the second period and scores with a pair of takedowns for the bronze medal.
Freestyle 60 kg - YUMOTO, Kenichi (13th, 36 entries)

R1 - lost to Yandro Quintana (CUB), 0-2 (0-3, 0-3)
Yumoto holds the Olympic champion scoreless in the first period, but loses the coin toss for the clinch and is thrown to his back off a quick start. Yumoto gives up a late single-leg and gut wrench in the second period.

r1 - df. Tevfik Odabasi (TUR), 2-0 (2-1, 4-1)
Yumoto avoids going out of bounds and gets back exposure in a scramble at the edge of the mat in the first period. Yumoto scores big with a double-leg to win the second period.

r2 - lost to Purevbaatar Oyunbileg (MGL), 2-0 (1-0, 1-1)
Yumoto gives up an early double-leg to drop the first period. In the second period, Yumoto drives the Mongolian veteran out of bounds for a 1-0 lead, but cannot protect the lead over the last 30 seconds as Purevbaatar scores with a late single-leg.
Freestyle 66 kg - IKEMATSU, Kazuhiko (11th, 44 entries)

R1 - df. Li Quan (CHN), 2-0 (3-0, 1-0=2:07)
Ikematsu fashions a one-sided win against a cautious opponent with a hiplock in the first period and a quick takedown from a clinch in the second period.

R2 - df. Dusan Babrnak (SVK), 2-0 (2-0, 2-0)
Ikematsu wrestles conservatively against another defense-minded opponent. Ikematsu trips the young Slovakian to his back in the first period and then goes behind twice in the second period.

QF - lost to Geandry Garzon (CUB) by fall, 2P=1:23
Ikematsu never gets rolling against the quick, aggressive Cuban. Garzon scores three points with a duck-under that drops Ikematsu to his back in the first period. Garzon scores big with a double-leg in the second period and flattens Ikematsu for the fall.