To Our Friends in Wrestling Around the world


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


    GUANGZHOU, China (September 26) - Shingo Matsumoto and Kenzo Kato came within a step of the medal rounds on the second day of the wrestling world championships -- but left Tianhe Gymnasium empty-handed nonetheless.

    Matsumoto forged two convincing wins in the early rounds of the greco-roman competition and was a turn away from advancing to the semifinals at 84 kg. Matsumoto had multi-world and European medalist Badri Khasaia locked up for the winning tilt in the final 30 seconds of their quarterfinal match but could not flip the Georgian over for the win.

    Matsumoto was eliminated from the competition when Khasaia lost in the semifinals to eventual gold medalist Mohamed Abdel Fatah of Egypt. Khasaia lost a hard-fought battle with 2004 Olympic champion Alexey Mishine of Russia for one of the bronze medals. Iran’s Tarvi Tahmasebi won the other bronze medal.

    In the 84-kg final, Abdel Fatah battled with former world champion Nazmi Avluca of Turkey for a 1x-1, 1x-1, 1x-1 decision to give Egypt its first world championship title since 1961. At 96 kg, Kato lost in the first round to Marek Svec, but gained new life when the Czech veteran pinned defending world champion Hamza Yerlikaya of Turkey and then edged Olympic silver medalist Ramaz Nozadze of Georgia. Kato won his first repechage match with 2004 junior European champion Theodoros Tounoussidis after time had expired. Referees ruled the Greek had used his leg illegally to stop Kato’s late gut wrench attempt.

    With new life again, however, Kato found two-time former Olympic champion Yerlikaya too much to handle as he was denied a berth in the bronze medal match. In the 96-kg final, 33-year-old Svec had to settle for the silver medal when he could not find the handle to turn Estonia’s young Heiki Nabi.

    Nabi, who has two bronze medals from the world student competition, won the first senior world championship title in greco-roman for Estonia as an independent nation. Also at 96 kg, Yerlikaya took one bronze medal with a win over Nozadze while Kaloyan Dinchev of Bulgaria won the other.

    At 74 kg, Japan’s third entry for the day Taichi Suga won by injury default in the first round over this year’s Golden Grand Prix winner Ilgar Abdulov of Azerbaijan. The Tokyo police officer, however, fell in the next round to American Thomas Dantzler and was eliminated when Dantzler lost to 1997 world champion Marko Yli-Hannuksela of Finland. Yli-Hannuksela was denied a second world championship title by Vladimir Shatskikh of Ukraine in the 74-kg final. The bronze medals went to Mark Madsen of Denmark, the silver medalist a year ago, and Georgia’s Manuchar Kvirkvelia.
Results of matches involving Japanese entries:

74 kg - SUGA, Taichi (15th, 38 entries)
R1 - df. Ilgar Abdulov (AZE) by injury default, 1P=1:54
R2 - lost to Thomas Dantzler (USA), 0-2 (0-4, 0-3)
Dantzler uses a reverse lock around the chest and misdirection tilt at key moments in the first and second periods to secure the win.

84 kg - MATSUMOTO, Shingo (9th, 36 entries)
R1 - df. Bernhard Mayr (GER), 2-1 (1-1x, 1x-1, 6-0)
Matsumoto broke open a title match in the third period with a body tackle for three points and a reverse waistlock and turn.

R2 - df. Laimutis Adomaitis (LTU), 2-0 (3-1, 3x-3)
Matsumoto took a 3-0 lead with another reverse waistlock and turn and then held off a late charge by last year’s European bronze medalist.

QF - lost to Badri Khasaia (GEO), 1-2 (0-2, 4-1, 2-2x)
Matsumoto took a reverse waistlock in the final 30 seconds of the bout, but could not flip Khasaia onto his back for the winning points.

66 kg - KATO, Kenzo (11th, 27 entries)
Pr - lost to Marek Svec (CZE), 0-2 (0-3, 1-3)
Kato missed a headlock early in the bout and the Czech veteran converted with three gut wrenches for an easy first period.

r1 - df. Theodoros Tounoussidis (GRE), 2-1 (5-3, 0-2, 2-1)
Leading 1-0 in the final 30 seconds of the third period and on top in par terre, Kato needed to score or risk losing on criteria. Kato appeared to fail with a gut wrench in the final seconds, but officials ruled that his opponent has used his legs illegally for defense for a 2-point penalty.

r2 - lost to Hamza Yerlikaya (TUR), 2-0 (3-1, 2-1)
The two-time Olympic gold medalist and defending world champion wrestled tactically in a one-sided bout.