To Our Friends in Wrestling Around the world


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

January Wrestling News


  TOKYO (January 28-29) - Sisters Hitomi and Makiko Sakamoto kicked off the international wrestling season for Japan by winning back-to-back championships at the Yarygin International in Krasnoyarsk, Russia. Makiko, 18, won her first major international title at 48 kg while elder sister Hitomi, FILA’s female wrestler of the year in 2001, continued along the comeback trail with the championship at 51 kg.

  Makiko edged last year’s European junior champion Larissa Oorzak of Russia 2-1 in the semifinals and then defeated Lola Urunova, also of Russia, for her first major international title. Hitomi, meanwhile, also had her hands full in the semifinals but prevailed 2-1 over former 48-kg world champion Brigitte Wagner of Germany. Hitomi defeated Mongolia’s Yura Gandolgor in the final.

  On the second day of competition, Ninako Hattori had to settle for third place after a hard fought battle with former world bronze medalist Natalia Golts of Russia in the semifinals at 55 kg. Hattori lost 1-0, 1-0 -- both from the clinch -- to the eventual champion Golts, but rebounded with a win Helen Malyshko of Ukraine for the bronze medal -- Japan’s third of the competition.

  Also for Japan, Sayuri Watanabe advanced to the semifinals at 59 kg before falling to Russia’s Elena Shalygina, a runner-up in the 2003 European cadet meet. Watanabe then lost by fall to Victoria Zagainova of Russia in the match for third place and had to settle for fifth place. Also at 59 kg, Hatsumi Nakanishi lost to Zagainova, a former European junior bronze medalist, in the first round and did not qualify for repechage.
Results of Japanese entries:

48 kg - SAKAMOTO, Makiko (1st, 13 entries)
1R - df. Nyashurt Otgonmargol (MGL) by fall
2R - df. Lilia Kaskarakova (RUS), 2-0
SF - df. Larissa Oorzak (RUS), 2-1
F1 - df. Lola Urunova (RUS) by fall
Rankings - 1. Makiko Sakamoto (JPN), 2. Lola Urunova (RUS), 3. Larissa
Oorzak (RUS), Anastasia Koltun (RUS)
51 kg - SAKAMOTO, Hitomi (1st, 12 entries)
1R - df. Stephanie Murata (USA) by fall
2R - df. Vanessa Bubriem (FRA) by fall
SF - df. Brigitte Wagner (GER), 2-0
F1 - df. Yura Gandolgor (MGL) by fall
Rankings - 1. Hitomi Sakamoto (JPN), 2. Yura Gandolgor (MGL), 3. Natalie
Ilyina (RUS), Brigitte Wagner (GER)
55 kg - HATTORI, Ninako (3rd, 15 entries)
1R - df. Alexandra Demmel (GER), 2-0 (1-0, 1-0)
2R - df. Lilya Polovko (UKR) by fall
SF - lost to Natalia Golts (RUS), 0-2 (0-1 clinch, 0-1 clinch)
F3 - df. Helen Malyshko (UKR), 2-0 (1-0, 1-0)
Rankings - 1. Natalia Golts (RUS), 2. Natalia Ivashko (RUS), 3. Jessica
Bechtel (GER), Ninako Hattori (JPN)
59 kg - NAKANISHI, Hatsumi (dnp, 13 entries)
1R - lost to Viktoria Zagainova (RUS) by fall (eliminated)

59 kg - WATANABE, Saori (5th, 13 entries)
1R - bye
2R - df. name not available (MGL) by fall
SF - lost to Helen Shalygina (RUS), 0-2
F3 - lost to Viktoria Zagainova (RUS) by fall
Rankings - 1. Sally Roberts (USA), 2. Helen Shalygina (RUS), 3. Viktoria
Zagainova (RUS), Eugenia Perepelkina (RUS)
63 kg - No Japanese entry (13 entries)
Rankings - 1. Alena Kartakhova (RUS), 2. Lubov Volosova (RUS), 3. Maria
Smolyakova (RUS), Natalia Kuksina (RUS)
67 kg - SUGAWARA, Mimi (7th, 12 entries)
1R - df. Dalhogir Vugar (MGL) by fall
2R - lost to Anastasia Dezhneva (RUS) , 0-2

67 kg - SAITO, Norie (9th, 12 entries)
1R - lost to Anastasia Dezhneva (RUS), 0-2
Rankings - 1. Alena Perepelkina (RUS), 2. Anna Shamova (RUS), 3.
Anastasia Dezhneva (RUS), Valerya Zlatova (RUS)
72 kg - No Japanese entry (8 entries)
Rankings - 1. Anita Schaetzle (GER), 2. Svetlana Sayenko (UKR), 3. Alena
Starodubseva (RUS), Svetlana Martinenko (RUS)


  TOKYO (January 28) - The Japanese Wrestling Federation announced its freestyle and greco-roman teams for tours to Europe in February and March. World bronze medalist Kazuhiko Ikematsu will lead a young freestyle team to Turkey on February 13 for the Yasar Dogu International, but will return to Japan for graduate school exams after the meet in Ankara. The rest of the freestyle team will continue on to Bulgaria for a training camp and then to wrestle in the Dan Kolov International on March 5-6 in Sofia.

  The greco-roman team, meanwhile, will leave Japan on February 28 for a two-week international training camp in Poland before competing in the Poland Open on March 13-14.

Winter tour team rosters:
Head coach - Hajime Wakui
Coach - Takahiro Wada
Trainer -Yu Sugiyama
55 kg - Tomohiro Matsunaga (Sogo Keibi Hosho), Yasuhiro Inaba (Senshu University)
60 - Takafumi Kojima (Nippon Sports Science University), Kenichi Yumoto (NSSU)
66 - Kazuhiko Ikematsu (NSSU instructor), Kiyofumi Kanabuchi (Kokushikan University instructor)
74 - Kunihiko Obata (Sogo Keibi Hosho), Ryuta Takahashi (Japan Self Defense Forces)
84 - Takao Isokawa (Takushoku University), Shinya Matsumoto (Nihon University)
96 - Kiyotaka Kodaira (Tokyo Metropolitan Police Department)
120 - Akihito Tanaka (Senshu)

Head coach - Hiromichi Ito
Coach - Hiroshi Kado
Trainer - Jun Kawasaki
55 kg - Shingo Hirai (Sogo Keibi Hosho), Bunsei Murakami (Japan SDF)
60 - Makoto Sasamoto (Sogo Keibi Hosho), Hideo Kitaoka (NSSU)
66 kg - Masaki Imuro (Japan SDF), Masaaki Izena (Okinawa Wrestling Federation)
74 kg - Tsukasa Tsurumaki (Kokushikan), Taichi Suga (Tokyo MPD)
84 kg - Shingo Matsumoto (Ichinomiya Transport), Tetsukatsu Saikawa (NSSU)
96 kg - Yusuke Morikaku (Nagano Wrestling Federation)
120 kg - Hirokazu Shinjo (Kokushikan)


  TOKYO (January 12) - Organizers of the 2006 Doha Asian Games plan to hold competition in all seven weight categories of women’s wrestling, Japan Wrestling Federation president Tomiaki Fukuda said. It will be the first time that women’s wrestling will be contested at all seven weights at the Asian Games.

  Pusan staged the first women’s wrestling competition in the Asian Games in 2002, but organized competition only at the four “Olympic” weights of 48, 55, 63 and 72 kg. Women’s wrestling made its Olympic debut last year at the Athens Games, but competition at 51, 59 and 67 kg was not included.

  According to Fukuda, the lone restriction in women’s wrestling planned for the 2006 Doha Games, slated for December 9-14, is that a country will be allowed to enter wrestlers in only three weight categories. Women’s wrestling was originally not on the program for the 2006 Games being hosted by the strictly Islamic nation. FILA and the Asian Wrestling Federation made strong requests that women’s wrestling be added to the program and last July the Olympic Council of Asia agreed to add women’s wrestling.

  TOKYO (January 23-25) - The Japanese men’s freestyle and greco-roman teams met for their first training camp of 2005 at the Japan Institute of Sports Science (JISS) in Tokyo. The training camp opened with a number of physical measurements and a rope-climbing test for time on the 23rd.

  The results, which showed the effect of the year-end and New Year holidays after December’s national championships, disappointed some of the coaches. The coaches warned the wrestlers about being lax when they are training at their regular workout sites and said they would conduct the tests again in about three months. The wrestlers and coaches got down to work on the 24th with some physical training and mat work. The training session on the 25th was opened to the media. The session on the 25th featured some matches under the new rules of three periods of two minutes with a 30-second break between each round.

  The coaches limited the number of matches a wrestler could wrestle to three in a row before he was forced to take a break. “There are a number of wrestlers who can wrestle five, six matches in a row. This may be impressive, but there is also the possibility that the wrestling will not be very clean,” explained freestyle national team coach Takahiro Wada. “We want them to use all of their strength in 2 minutes.” Wada added, however, that the wrestlers will have their chances to wrestler for longer periods of time once their techniques become sharper.

  On the 25th, Olympic bronze medalist at 55 kg Chikara Tanabe demonstrated some techniques for the wrestlers.


  TOKYO (January 27) - Team trials for the World University Games in Turkey in August will be held March 31 at the national team training center in Tokyo, the Japanese Wrestling Federation announced. The trials, which were originally scheduled for March 26, will determine the men’s teams for the quadrennial student games to be held this year in Izmir, Turkey.

  Meanwhile, the Meiji Nyugyo Cup National Invitational will be held June 22-23 at Komazawa Gymnasium in Tokyo. The top four finishers at each weight from the national championships in December will automatically qualify for the invitational, which serves as the national team trials for the world championships. Four more qualifiers at each weight will be determined at a qualifying meet at the national team training center on April 10.