To Our Friends in Wrestling Around the world


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

December wrestling news


    TOKYO (December 28) - The Japan Wrestling Federation has announced its list of entries for the 2006 national championships, which are being held in January because of the Asian Games in early December. A total of 92 wrestlers were listed for greco-roman, 99 in freestyle and 56 in the women's competition scheduled for Tokyo。ッs Komazawa Gymnasium on January 26-28.

   In recent years, the national championships have been held around December 23, the birthday of Emperor Akihito. But, because of the scheduling of the Asian Games in Doha, the JWF decided to postpone the championships for a month.

   The JWF's national team committee pared some of the entries in weight categories where the total number exceeded 16 or 17. The paring was done on the basis of the wrestlers's previous records.

   Among the entries were two fighters from the mixed martial arts: Norifumi 'Kid' Yamamoto and former Sydney Olympian Kazuyuki Miyata. Yamamoto, at 60 kg in freestyle, and Miyata, at 74 kg, were both entered by recommendation of the national team committee.

   Also, marking a return to the mats will be former national champions Yuki Iwasaki (GR, 74) and Akihito Tanaka (FS, 120).

   In the women。ッs competition, world champions Hitomi Sakamoto and Ayako Shoda were launch their bids for Olympic team berths against 2004 gold medal winners. Sakamoto has moved up from 51 to 55 kg to challenge Saori Yoshida while Shoda returns to 63 kg to renew her rivalry with Kaori Icho.


   TOKYO (December 23) - The Japan Wrestling Federation announced changes in scheduling for the national championships at Tokyo's Komazawa Gymnasium
on January 26-28.

   Further, Nihon Television (NTV) will broadcast matches from all three days of wrestling. From 1992 to last year, the Japan Broadcasting Company (NHK) had aired matches from the final day of competition.

The competition schedule will be as follows:
January 26 (Friday) - FS 84, 96, 120; GR 84, 96, 120; W 51, 59, 67;
January 27 (Saturday) - FS 66, 74; GR 55, 66, 74; W 48, 63, 72;
January 28 (Sunday) - FS 55, 60; GR 60; W 55 kg.

The broadcast schedule (times may be changed by stations in some areas):
January 26 (Friday) - 16:00-16:25
January 27 (Saturday) - 24:50-26:20
January 28 (Sunday) - 13:25-14:55


   TOKYO (December 21-22) - Tsukasa Sato
(right) won his fourth straight national collegiate championship in freestyle, but Takao Isokawa led Takushoku University to its first team title in the event and was named the meet's outstanding wrestler.

   Sato of Waseda University, who did not win a high school title while at Akita Shogyo, rolled over Kazumasa Masuda in the 66-kg final at Komazawa Gymnasium to become the fourth wrestler to win four straight at the collegiate national championships.

   Previous four-year title winners were Tamon Honda (100 kg, 1981-84) of Nihon University (Nichidai), Kosei Akaishi (68 kg, 1982-85), also of Nichidai, and Kunihiko Obata (74 kg, 1999-2002) of Yamanashi Gakuin.

   Meanwhile, Isokawa won his third straight championship at 84 kg to pace Takushoku -- more widely known for its greco-roman wrestlers -- to its first freestyle national championship. Takushoku, which also got a championship performance from Koji Sakurai at 74 kg, won with 43.5 points while two-time defending champion Nichidai came in second with 39 points.

   Senshu University was third with 33.5 points and Waseda fourth with 32. Nichidai got a pair of championships from national team members Noriyuki Takatsuka (60 kg) and Shinya Matsumoto (96 kg) -- both only recently returned from the Asian Games in Doha.

   Takatsuka was a bronze medalist at this year's world championships in Guangzhou, China, but was knocked out of the running early at the Asian Games. Matsumoto, who finished fifth at 84 kg in Doha, moved up to 96 kg and won his third straight collegiate freestyle crown.

   Senshu's Nobuyoshi Arakida won at 120 kg to become the 15th first-year wrestler to win at the Prime Minister's Cup meet.

Results of medal matches:
55 kg (25 entries)
F1 - Kohei Hasegawa (Aoyama Gakuin) df. Shinichi Yumoto (Takushoku), 2-1 (2-0, 3-3x, 4-2)
F3 - Yasuhiro Inaba (Senshu) df. Yuki Sekiguchi (Yamanashi Gakuin), 2-0, 1x-1, 6-0=1:55)
F3 - Kazuhide Tomita (Daito Bunka) df. Kyosuke Horii (Toyo) by TF, 2-0 (9-0=1:59, 7-0=1:26)

60 kg (28 entries)
F1 - Noriyuki Takatsuka (Nihon) df. Shigeki Ozawa (YGU), 2-1 (1-0, 2-3x, 4-1)
F3 -Sho Kagabe (Tokyo Agricultural) df. Kazumasa Take (Tak), 2-0 (5-2, 3x-3)
F3 - Takeshi Numajiri (Kokushikan) df. Yoshisumi Yano (Ritsumeikan), 2-0 (1-0, 7-0=0:54)

66 kg (28 entries)
F1 - Tsukasa Sato (Waseda) df. Kazumasa Masuda (Chukyo Gakuin), 2-0 (1-0, 5-1)
F3 - Masateru Kawai (NU) df. Toshihito Miyahara (Fukuoka), 2-1 (0-2, 6-2, 4-2)
F3 - Hisashi Aoyama (Toyo) df. Kenichi Goto (Sen), 2-0 (3-0, 1-0)

74 kg (25 entries)
F1 - Koji Sakurai (Taku) df. Naoki Akimoto (NU), 2-1 (0-3, 1-0, 1-0=2:05)
F3 - Taiki Nakano (YGU) df. Yuki Matsubara (AGU), 2-0 (3-0, 4-1)
F3 - Koki Hosogoshi (Sen) df. Sho Arakawa (Toyo), 2-1 (0-1, 2-0, 1-0)

84 kg (21 entries)
F1 - Takao Isokawa (Taku) df. Takuya Ito (Wa), 2-0 (2-0, 3-0)
F3 - Masaaki Yano (Sen) df. Masahira Nomoto (Kanagawa), 2-0 (6-0=1:36, 3-0)
F3 - Tsukasa Tsurumaki (Ko) df. Takao Hirano (Toyo) by fall, 2P=0:39

96 kg (23 entries)
F1 - Shinya Matsumoto (NU) df. Seiji Azuma (Ri), 2-0 (4-0, 1-0)
F3 - Kenzo Sakamoto (Nihon Bunri) df. Ryuji Tamaguchi (Taku), 2-0 (3-0, 3-0)
F3 - Yosuke Nasuno (AGU) df. Shinsho Anzai (Meiji), 2-1 (5-0, 2-4, 5-0)

120 kg (21 entries)
F1 - Nobuyoshi Arakida (Sen) df. Tetsuro Asami (Wa) by fall, 2P=1:54
F3 - Takao Kawano (AGU) df. Kyohei Yamaguchi (Tokuyama), 2-0 (1-0, 1-0)
F3 - Boris Mujikov (YGU) df. Atsushi Nakamura (Taku) by fall, 1P=1:50

Team scoring
1. Takushoku, 43.5 points
2. Nihon, 39
3. Senshu, 33.5
4. Waseda, 32
5. Yamanashi Gakuin, 25.5
6. Aoyama Gakuin, 21.5
7. Toyo, 16.5
8. Kokushikan


   TOKYO (December 22) - Yoshitaka Ban of Kansai University was re-elected as chairman of the All-Japan Collegiate Wrestling Federation at a meeting of the federation's executive board.

   Ban, long recognized as one of wrestling's top international referees, will begin his second term next year. He currently serves as advisor for the Kansai University wrestling club.


   TOKYO (December 19) - The Japan Wrestling Federation approved the selection process for its men's freestyle and greco-roman teams for the 2008 Beijing Olympics. Medal winners at the 2007 world championships in Baku will only need to enter the 2007 national championships in December to be named Japan's Olympic entry.

   Wrestlers who finish in fifth to eighth place will secure a Japanese berth in the Olympics by winning the national championship title. If another wrestler wins the all-Japan crown, a wrestle-off will be arranged.

   In weight categories where Japan does not qualify at the world championships for the 2008 Olympics, Japan will have three chances to qualify in 2008 -- at the Asian championships and two Olympic qualifying competitions. The JWF plans to send the winner of the 2007 All-Japan meet or the runner-up to these competitions.

   If the national champion secures an Olympic berth at these competitions, it will be his to keep. However, if the national runner-up secures the berth, a wrestle-off with the national champion will be held for the ticket to Beijing.
The selection process for the women's Olympic team has not yet been determined.

   The schedule of qualifying competitions for the 2008 Olympic Games in men's freestyle and greco-roman is as follows:

1. 2007 world championships, Baku, September 17-23 (Top 8 places qualify)
2. 2008 continental championships. (Top place-winner of a country not yet qualified)
  -- Asian championships, Seoul, March 18-23
3. 1st Olympic qualifying tournament. (Top four place-winners of countries not yet qualified)
  -- Freestyle - Martigny, Switzerland, April 19-20
  -- Greco-roman - Tunis, May 10-11
4. Final Olympic qualifying tournament. (Top three place-winners of countries not yet qualified)
  -- Freestyle - Warsaw, May 3-4
  -- Greco-roman - Novi Sad, Serbia, May 24-25

   For women, the two Olympic qualifying tournaments will be held in Edmonton, Canada on May 17-18 and in Haparanda, Sweden on May 31 and June 1. Two Olympic berths will be at stake in each competition.


   TOKYO (December 18) - The Japan Wrestling Federation approved a decision by the East Japan Collegiate Wrestling Association to suspend Nippon Sports Science University for one month for the misbehavior of a student in November. The JWF decision, taken at an executive board meeting, however, left the door open for NSSU participation in the senior national championships on January 26-28.

   The incident in question concerned a first-year member of the NSSU wrestling team who entered the women's dormitory of the school's gymnastics team at around 3 a.m. on November 4 and stole some underwear. Dormitory residents heard a noise and called the police who arrested the young man on charges of theft.

   The university suspended the student indefinitely and ordered the wrestling club to suspend activities for one month from November 8. The EJCWA also suspended the NSSU team for one month from November 30 and ordered club director Hideo Fujimoto and head coach Takumi Adachi to avoid contact with the club for six months and three months, respectively.

   NSSU withdrew from the East Japan freshman-sophomore tournament on December 7-9 and was not allowed to compete in the collegiate national championships on December 21-22 under the EJCWA's suspension.

   The NSSU team was also denied the chance to register for the senior national championships in January, since this constituted a "club activity." But since the championships are being held outside of the period of the suspension, the EJCWA said in its report to the JWF that it hoped the NSSU students would be allowed to compete.

   At the JWF board meeting, former NSSU alum and wrestling team director Tsutomu Hanahara apologized for the incident and resigned his position as JWF vice president.


   DOHA (December 16) - Korea topped Asian Games wrestling with five gold medals, three silver and three bronze, followed by Iran (4-5-1) and Japan (4-2-3). Korea won four gold medals in greco-roman and added a fifth in men's freestyle, while all four of Iran's gold medals came in freestyle.

   Japan won three gold medals in the women's competition and got its fourth from Makoto Sasamoto in greco-roman. Under FILA's point system, the greco-roman team title went to Korea, the men's freestyle crown to Iran and the women's title to Japan.

The top countries by medal count:
Greco-roman - 1. Korea (4-0-0), 2. China (1-1-1), 3. Japan (1-0-2), 4. Kazahkstan (1-0-0), 5. Iran (0-4-1)

Men's freestyle - 1. Iran (4-1-0), 2. Uzbekistan (2-2-1), 3. Korea (1-2-3), 4(tie). Japan (0-1-1) and DPR Korea (0-1-1)

Women - 1. Japan (3-1-0), 2. China (1-0-2), 3. India (0-1-1), 4(tie). Kazakhstan (0-1-0) and Korea (0-1-0)

The top countries by placement points:
Greco-roman - 1. Korea (48 points), 2. Iran (46), 3. Kyrgyzstan (45), 4. China (42), 5. Uzbekistan (38), 6. Japan (33)

Men's freestyle - 1. Iran (59 points), 2. Korea (58), 3. Uzbekistan (50), 4. Kazakhstan (42), 5. India (38), 6. Japan (31)

Women - 1. Japan (39 points), 2. China (32), 3. Mongolia (32), 4. India (24), 5. Korea (22)


   TOKYO (December 7-10) - Winners at the autumn East Japan collegiate freshman-sophomore wrestling competition at Komazawa Gymnasium:

55 kg - Toshiyuki Kitaoka, Yamanashi Gakuin
60 kg - Yasushi Ooan, Kokushikan
66 kg - Kazuki Morikawa, YGU
74 kg - Tomoaki Arai, Takushoku
84 kg - Daisuke Sugihira, Kokushikan
96 kg - Maki Kudo, Toyo
120 kg - Nobuyoshi Arakida, Senshu

55 kg - Tsutomu Aoki, Kokushikan
60 kg - Teppei Monya, Nihon
66 kg - Shigeki Ozawa, YGU
74 kg - Tatsuhiro Yonemitsu, Takushoku
84 kg - Kamei Narabe, YGU
96 kg - Ryota Kimaku, YGU
120 kg - Nobuyoshi Arakida, Senshu