To Our Friends in Wrestling Around the world


By William May
iJapan Amateur Wrestling Federation, Public Information Committee


@@ @DOHA (December 14) - Takafumi Kojima came from behind to win two key matches for the silver medal (left) and Hidenori Taoka added a bronze medal for Japan as the wrestling competition at the Asian Games came to a close.

@@@The Japanese freestyle squad failed to win a gold medal for the third straight Asian Games, but the silver and bronze medals are an improvement over the lone silver taken by Chikara Tanabe at the Busan (Korea) Games four years ago. Also on the final day of wrestling at the Aspire sports complex, Nihon University student Shinya Matsumoto earned a fifth-place finish at 84 kg.

@@@Kojima, who moved up from 60 kg only a year ago, wrestled tenaciously at 66 kg to advance to the gold medal final. Kojima opened with a win over Kyrgyzstan's Noruzbek Belekov, a bronze medalist at the junior world championships, and then had to come from behind twice in the quarters to defeat Kazakhstan's Leonid Spiridonov. Spiridonov was the winner at the Asian championships in April and finished fourth at the Athens Olympics after a 3-2 overtime win over Japan's Kazuhiko Ikematsu.

@@@In the semifinals, Kojima was down to Sushil Kumar of India 0-4 in the third period when he stepped over an attempted gut wrench by the two-time Commonwealth Games champion for the fall.

@@@In the finals, however, Kojima could not solve the riddle of Baek Jin-Kuk's low-single attack and lost in two periods to the defending Asian Games champion from Korea.

@@@At 55 kg, Taoka dropped a hard-fought match with two-time world champion Dilshod Mansurov of Uzbekistan in the quarterfinals, but claimed the bronze medal by defeating Iran's Taghi Dadashi, eighth place at the world
championships this fall.

@@@Meanwhile, Matsumoto opened with a pair of wins at 84 kg, but could not keep up with world bronze medalist Reza Yazdani of Iran in the semifinals. In the match for the bronze medal, Matsumoto has his chances against 2005 world bronze medal winner Magomed Kurugliyev, but comes up short as the Kazakh veteran medals for his third straight Asian Games.

55kg - TAOKA, Hidenori (3rd, 15 entries)

R1 - df. Hussain Gowdooei (QAT), 2-0 (2-0, 6-0=1:34)

@@Taoka opened with a pair of force-outs in the first period, then capped his victory with a footsweep for three points in the second.

R2 - lost to Dilshod Masurov (UZB), 0-2 (0-1, 0-2)

@@Taoka dropped the first period on a force-out just before time. In the second period, Mansurov scored with a takedown and ankle turn.

r1 - df. Jerry Angana (PHI) by fall, 2P=0:45 (6-0=1:28, 3-0)

@@Taoka strings together ankle turns in the first period for the technical, then drops Angana to his back with a footsweep in the second and presses for the fall.

F3 - df. Taghi Dadashi (IRI), 2-1 (3-0, 0-1, 1-0)

@@Taoka won the first period on a pair of force-outs, but dropped the second on the short end of the clinch. In the third period, Taoka scores with a low single and makes the point stand for the bronze medal.

Other medal matches at 55 kg
F1 - Dilshod Mansurov (UZB) df. Jon Hyon-Guk (PRK), 2-0 (3-0=2:04, 2-0)
F3 - Kim Hyo-Sub (KOR) df. Bayaraa Naranbaatar (MGL), 2-1 (3-0, 1-1x, 1-0=2:30)


66kg - KOJIMA, Takafumi (2nd, 17 entries)

R1 - df. Noruzbek Belekov (KGZ), 2-0 (1-0, 3-1)

@@Kojima snaps Belekov down for a go-behind point and makes it stand in the first period. At 1-1 in the second, Kojima crushes Belekov's takedown attempt for a nearfall and two points.

R2 - df. Leonid Spiridonov (KAZ), 2-1 (0-2, 3-2, 5-3)

@@Kojima drops the first period on a pair of takedowns. Down 0-2 in the second, Kojima scores a takedown with 20 seconds remaining and hits a gut wrench to win. At 3-3 in the third period but behind on criteria, Kojima scores with another gut wrench with only 2 seconds remaining.

SF - df. Sushil Kumar (IND) by fall, 3P=0:47 (0-2, 2-0, 3-4)

@@After trading periods, Kojima found himself down 0-3 in the third. Kumar added another point with a takedown, but Kojima countered a gut wrench attempt and caught Kumar on his back for the fall.

F1 - lost to Baek Jin-Kuk (KOR), 2-0 (1-0, 2-0)

@@Kojima gives up a low single midway through the first period. A late takedown appears to win for Kojima, but the point is waved off. Kojima cannot get in on the ultra-flexible Baek and gives up a pair of low singles.

Other medal matches at 66 kg
F3 - Sushil Kumar (IND) df. Leonid Spiridonov (KAZ), 2-0 (1-0, 3-1)
F3 - Buyanjav Batzorig (MGL) df. Li Quan (CHN), 2-0 (2-1, 1-0)


84kg - MATSUMOTO, Shinya (5th, 15 entries)

R1 - df. Chagnaadorj Ganzorig (MGL) by fall, 2P=0:57 (0-1, 6-0)

@@Matsumoto drops the first period on a force-out, but comes back with a single-leg in the second. Matsumoto drops Chagnaadorj to his back and locks up the head-and-arm for the fall.

R2 - df. Usman Majeed (PAK), 2-0 (5-0, 1-0)

@@Matsumoto scores big with a double-leg and gut wrench in the first period and then counters a takedown in the second period with a force-out.

SF - lost to Reza Yazdani (IRI), 0-2 (3-8, 0-5=1:45)

@@Matsumoto opens with a fireman's carry for three points, but Yazdani answers with a series of gut wrenches. Yazdani takes a bodylock late in the second period and throws Matsumoto for 5 points to end the period.

F3 - lost to Magomed Kurugliyev (KAZ), 0-2 (1-4, 2-3)

@@Matsumoto gives up an early takedown and gut wrench. Late in the first period, Matsumoto stops Kurugliyev's takedown shot and has a chance to step over for three points, but steps out of bounds. Matsumoto attempts double-leg, but gets thrown in 1-3 exchange. A lone takedown at the end is too little, too late.

Other medal matches at 84 kg
F1 - Reza Yazdani (IRI) df. Zaurbek Sokhiev (UZB), 2-0 (3-1, 4-0)
F3 - Noh Je-Hyoun (KOR) df. Samatbek Tolubaev (KGZ), 2-0 (1-0, 2-1)


120 kg - No Japanese entry (12 entries)

F1 - Artur Taymazov (UZB) df. Fardin Masoumi Valadi (IRI), 2-0 (8-0=0:46, 5-0)
F3 - Cheema Palwinder Singh (IND) df. Marid Mutalimov (KAZ), 2-1 (1-0=2:04, 0-3, 1-0=2:18)
F3 - Lee Se-Hyoung (KOR) df. Davaanyam Lhagvadorj (MGL) by fall, 1P=1:26 (3-1)