To Our Friends in Wrestling Around the world


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


  National team newcomer Tomohiro Matsunaga was golden and veteran ace Makoto Sasamoto won silver in key tune-up competitions in Poland in August. Matsunaga came from behind in the 55-kg final to defeat European champion Ghenadi Tulbea of Moldova at the Ziolkowski memorial event for his third title in an international tourney this year.

  Matsunaga, in his first season on Japan’s senior national team, also defeated two-time Olympic champion Namig Abdullaev of Azerbaijan in the first round of the meet in Siedlec, Poland on August 14.

  Sasamoto also defeated a two-time Olympic gold medalist, Armen Nazarian of Bulgaria, on his way to the 60-kg finals of the prestigious Pytlasinski international in Raciborz, Poland on August 20. Sasamoto, an older teammate of Matsunaga’s with the Sogo Keibi Hosho wrestling club, however, stumbled in the final against Alexei Shevtsov of Russia and had to settle for the silver medal. Kunihiko Obata, meanwhile, took his second bronze medal of the season in freestyle competition to give Japan a complete set of medals for their efforts in Poland.
Results of Japanese entries:

FREESTYLE (20 countries, 107 entries)

55 kg - MATSUNAGA, Tomohiro (1st, 16 entries)
Q - df. Namig Abdullaev (AZE), 2-1 (4-2, 0-1=2:24, 1-0)
   Matsunaga scores big with uchimata inner-thigh reap to take first period; loses the second on an overtime force-out; then hits a low single to win the third.
QF - df. Evgeny Kolbrin (RUS) by fall, 2P=0:53 (1-0, 3-0)
SF - df. Zalimkhan Kutsaev (RUS), 2-0 (3-0, 4-2)
F1 - df. Ghenadi Tulbea (MDA), 2-1 (0-1, 4-0, 5-4)
   European champ Tulbea takes first period countering Matsunaga’s takedown attempt. Matsunaga draws level with an ouchi-gari inside trip for three points. In the third period, Matsunaga gives up 0-4 lead in the first 30 seconds, but comes back with a pair of takedowns and gut wrenches to win.
74 kg - OBATA, Kunihiko (3rd, 16 entries)
R1 - df. Lukasz Wiechna (POL), 2-0 (1-0=2:11, 1-0)
QF - df. Szymon Piatkowski (POL), 2-0 (1-0, 1-0)
SF - lost to Oleg Bilotserkivsky (UKR), 0-2 (0-3, 0-1)
   Obata gives up takedown and exposure in the final five seconds of the first period and cannot break through his opponent’s defense in the second.
F3 - df. Carlos Dominguez (ESP), 2-0 (5-0, 1-0)
   Obata has little trouble with an opponent he faced regularly in the
joint training camp before the competition.
84 kg - YAMAMOTO, Satoru (13th, 16 entries)
R1 - lost to Said Abrahimi (IRI), 0-2 (0-1=2:30, 0-1)
Greco-Roman (28 countries, 177 entries)

55 kg - TOYOTA, Masatoshi (19th, 24 entries)
Q - lost to Reihanpour Soryan (IRI), 0-2 (1-1x, 0-5)
   Toyota cannot turn the junior world champ in the par terre position and drops two sets. Toyota is eliminated from competition when Soryan is defeated by Olympic champion Istvan Majoros of Hungary in the quarterfinals.
60 kg - SASAMOTO, Makoto (2nd, 27 entries)
Q - df. Joaquin Martinez (ESP) by fall, 2P=0:57 (2-0, 4-0)
R1 - df. Armen Nazarian (BUL), 2-1 (3-2, 0-4, 2-1)
   Even after the first two periods, Sasamoto breaks Nazarian’s grip to start par terre in the third period and defends for a point. Sasamoto lifts for a 2-0 in his half of par terre and then holds on for the win after Nazarian ends up on top.
QF - df. Jurij Kohl (GER) by TF, 2-0 (6-0=2:00, 6-0=1:08)
SF - df. Suren Hervorkyan (UKR), 2-0 (2-2=caution, 2-0)
F1 - lost to Alexei Shevtsov (RUS), 1-2 (2-0, 0-3, 3-4)
   Sasamoto takes the first period with a lift and good defense and is five seconds from victory when Shevtsov turns him with a gut wrench in the second. Sasamoto regains momentum in the third period with a body tackle and gut wrench for a 3-0 lead, but then gets flipped to his back from a front headlock position to give Shevtsov the win.
66 kg - IMURO, Masaki (14th, 30 entries)
Q - df. Lucjan Kwit (POL), 2-0 (4-2, 1-1)
R1 - lost to Sergey Kuntarev (RUS), 0-2 (0-3, 0-7=1:27)
74 kg - IWASAKI, Yuki (12th, 28 entries)
Q - df. Waclaw Siorak (POL), 2-1 (6-0=1:29, 2-4, 2-1)
R1 - lost to Bolat Abdulayev (UKR), 2-1 (2-1, 1-1, 0-2)
84 kg - MATSUMOTO, Shingo (10th, 26 entries)
Q - df. Jim Petterson (SWE), 2-0 (5-1, 5-1)
R1 - lost to Melonin Noumonui (FRA), 0-2 (0-2, 4-5)
   Matsumoto gets turned at 1:58, missing his chance to take the first period against the French Olympian. Matsumoto led 2-0 and 4-3 in the second period, but couldn’t hold on. Moumonui lost in the semifinals to 2002 world runner-up Badri Khasai of Georgia, eliminating Matsumoto from competition.
96 kg - Kato, Kenzo (18th=tie, 24 entries)
Q - lost to Asset Mambetov (KAZ), 0-2 (3-5, 0-6=1:59)