To Our Friends in Wrestling Around the world


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

June wrestling news


  BAKU (June 23-25) - World champion Ayako Shoda led the Japanese women to four gold medals in the FILA Golden Grand Prix wrestling tournament in Azerbaijan's capital of Baku. Shoda (59 kg), along with fellow female champions Chikako Matsukawa (55 kg), Mio Nishimaki (63 kg) and Hiroe Suzuki (67 kg), each earned 5,000 dollars in first-place prize money.

   Meanwhile, Yuri Kai, who finished second at 51 kg, pocketed 3,000 dollars. Shoda wrestled in an eight-member championship bracket at 59 kg and defeated former European champion Ida-Therese Karlsson of Sweden in the final.

   Matsukawa, Nishimaki and Suzuki each competed in five-wrestler round-robin pools and won all four of their matches. Matsukawa defeated four-time former world champion Anna Gomis of France and Olympic silver medalist Tonya Verbeek of Canada at 55 kg.

   Nishimaki, a first-year student at Chukyo Women's University, defeated 2005 European champion Monika Rogien of Poland on her way to first place. In the men's competition, greco-roman veteran Makoto Sasamoto lost 1-2 to world bronze medalist Eusebiu Diaconu of Romania in the semifinals at 60 kg.

   Sasamoto, by virtue of being in the top half of a six-man bracket with Diaconu, was awarded the bronze medal uncontested and 1,000 dollars in prize money.

   On the final day, Yasuhiro Inaba lost to freestyle world champion Dilshod Mansurov of Uzbekistan in his opening bout at 55 kg and then dropped a 1-2 decision to hometown favorite Namig Sevdimov to finish fifth overall.


   ULAN BATOR (June 15-20) - Mio Nishimaki and Kayoko Shimada won gold medals for Japan and three teammates added silver medals for the women at the World University wrestling championships.

   Nishimaki, in her first year at Chukyo Women's University, gave up the first period in the final at 63 kg, but roared back for a 5-0, 4-0 win over Mongolian veteran Badrakh Odonchimeg. Nishimaki, who won the junior world title last year, remains unbeaten in international competition.

   Shimada of Nihon University (Nichidai), meanwhile, forged a 2-0, 5-3 win over Canada's Breanne Graham, a former two-time bronze medalist in this meet, in the final at 59 kg.

   Yuna Sakae (CWU, 51) and Mami Shinkai (CWU, 67) both lost to Mongolia wrestlers in the finals and had to settle for silver medals. Nichidai's Chikako Matsukawa also lost to former Asia champion Naidan Otgonjargal in the final at 55 kg as Mongolian wrestlers won titles in five of the seven female weight categories.

   Meanwhile, the Japanese men finished the meet with a pair of bronze medals -- one in greco-roman and another in freestyle. In greco-roman, Kohei Hasegawa of Aoyama Gakuin rebounded from a semifinal loss to American Spenser Mango and claimed the bronze medal at 55 kg.

   In freestyle, Tsukasa Sato of Waseda fell in the semifinals at 66 kg to M. Hamid of Iran, but rallied to win a bronze medal in freestyle.


   TOKYO (June 18) - Winners at the East Japan collegiate junior varsity (freshmen, sophomores) wrestling championships at Komazawa Gymnasium in Tokyo:

55 kg - Yuhei Ishiyama (Nippon Sports Science University)
60 kg - Kaoru Yasuwa (Waseda)
66 kg - Kazuki Morikawa (Yamanashi Gakuin)
74 kg - Yoshiaki Narabe (YGU)
84 kg - Aoi Otsuki (WU)
96 kg - Naoki Monma (NSSU)
120 kg - Boris Mujikov (YGU)

55 kg - Tsubasa Ogata (NSSU)
60 kg - Ryota Sato (NSSU)
66 kg - Kazuhiko Naruse (NSSU)
74 kg - Atsushi Matsumoto (NSSU)
84 kg - Shuhei Kuraya (NSSU)
96 kg - Tetsuro Asami (WU)
120 kg - Boris Mujikov (YGU)


   TOKYO (June 13) - The Japanese Olympic Committee (JOC) has decided to increase the number of wrestlers it will send to the Asian Games in December from 12 to 15.

   The JOC indicated earlier that it wanted to send a ・maller, stronger・ delegation to the games in Doha this December and said it would limit its delegation to likely medalists and place-winners. JOC officials suggested that the Japan Wrestling Federation limit its entries in greco-roman and men's freestyle to four wrestlers each -- along with four in women's wrestling.

   On June 13, however, the JOC decided that it would an additional wrestler for each style. The JOC Executive Board was expected to approve the decision on June 27.


   TOKYO (June 19-20) - Men's national teams in wrestling and judo held a joint training camp for the first time in eight years. The camp, which featured Sydney Olympic champion Kosei Inoue and Athens gold medalists Keiji Suzuki, was held at the Japan Institute of Sports Science in Tokyo.

   Judo and wrestling clubs have held joint training camps over the years, most recently on the women's side. The Mitsui-Sumitomo Kaijo judo club and the Chukyo Women's University club trained together last fall and in January the women's national judo team trained with the wrestling club of the Japan Self-Defense Forces.


   NAGOYA (June 14) - Female wrestling powerhouse Chukyo Women's University is going coed! And so the question is raised, will the school that produced two gold medalists and a silver medal winner at the 2004 Athens Olympics seek similar success in men's wrestling.

   ・First, we want to create a boy's wrestling team at our affiliate high
school and then continue with an integrated program in the university,・
women's head coach Kazuhito Sakae said. ・We would like to create a powerhouse in men's wrestling, as well. And we would also like to produce an Olympic gold medalist.・

   The school, meanwhile, which is planning to open its doors to young men the next academic year, will keep its current name. The affiliate high school, which went coed this spring, changed its name to Igakukan high school. But, sentiment among CWU students is that they would like to keep the name ・Chukyo Women's University.・