To Our Friends in Wrestling Around the world


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


   TOKYO (September 12) - The Japan Wrestling Federation named national champion Eri Sakamoto as its representative at 67 kg for the wrestling world championships later this month in China.

   Sakamoto, who had earned the right to represent Japan earlier this year, fractured a bone in her left foot in April and missed the women's World Cup meet in Nagoya in May. JWF officials, at the time, said they would see how Sakamoto recovered from the injury before they decided on Japan's representative at 67 kg in Guangzhou, China on October 1 -- the final day world championships.

   On September 11 and 12, Sakamoto, last year's junior world champion Mami Shinkai and this year's junior world champ Yoshiko Inoue wrestled a three-way round robin for the Japanese team's final undecided berth. Over the two-day trials, Sakamoto defeated Shinkai 2-1, 2-1; Shinkai stopped Inoue 2-0, 2-1; and Inoue upended Sakamoto 2-1, 2-1.

   After the inconclusive trials, the JWF selected Sakamoto, noting that the seventh-place finisher at last year's world championships would continue to get stronger over the remainder of September.

   ・To be honest, I'm really not happy about this,・Sakamoto said after being selected to the world team. ・It will be no good if I wrestle like that (in the trials) in the world championships.・

   ・I'm not even at half of where I was before, but as the Japanese representative, I must not say such at thing. All I can do is practice the things I'm lacking and become more aggressive.・