To Our Friends in Wrestling Around the world


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

April wrestling news


   YOKOHAMA (April 22-23) - Junior world champion Mio Nishimaki won her sixth straight title at the JOC Cup junior wrestling national championships. Nishimaki, the winner of the women's junior world championship at 59 kg last year, had little trouble winning the 63-kg division crown at Yokohama Bunka Gymnasium to give her a total of six cadet and junior titles in the JOC Cup meet.

   Meanwhile, at 59 kg, Mizuka Kajita upended 63-kg junior world champion Kei Yamana for the title. Kajita was a runner-up in the 2005 Asian cadet championships.

   Asia cadet champions Fuyuko Mimura (48 kg) and Yoshiko Inoue (67 kg) also prevailed in their debuts as junior wrestlers.
Mizuho Shibata, the winner at 55 kg, was named the outstanding wrestler in the women's junior division.

   In the men's competition, collegiate national champion Shigeki Ozawa of Yamanashi Gakuin won the freestyle crown at 60 kg and was named the men's outstanding wrestler. In greco-roman, Kazuma Kuramoto of Takushoku University won the 55-kg title for his third straight JOC Cup triumph.
Individual winners in the junior divisions:
Men's freestyle
50 kg - Musashi Nagao, Kinki University
55 kg - Yuhei Ishiyama, Nippon Sports Science University
60 kg - Shigeki Ozawa, Yamanashi Gakuin University
66 kg - Tatsuhiro Yonemitsu, Takushoku University
74 kg - Aoi Otsuki, Waseda University
84 kg - Naoki Monma, NSSU
96 kg - Tetsuro Asami, WU
120 kg - Nobuyoshi Arakida, Senshu University

Men's greco-roman
50 kg - Masaharu Kaji, Hyogo
55 kg - Kazuma Kuramoto, TU
60 kg - Ryutaro Matsumoto, NSSU
66 kg - Kazuhiko Naruse, NSSU
74 kg - Shuhei Kuraya, NSSU
84 kg - Norikatsu Saikawa, NSSU
96 kg - Yusuke Yamamoto, YGU
120 kg - Iori Yasuda, WU

Women,'s freestyle
44 kg - Yurie Sakamoto, Iwate
48 kg - Fuyuko Mimura, Kyoto
51 kg - Ai Maebara, Kansai University
55 kg - Mizuho Shibata, Chukyo Women's University
59 kg - Mizuka Kajita, CWU
63 kg - Mio Nishimaki, CWU
67 kg - Yoshiko Inoue, Aichi
72 kg - Kie Tanaka, CWU


   NAGOYA (April 19) - National champion Eri Sakamoto will miss the upcoming women's World Cup wrestling meet in Nagoya due to a fracture in the shin of her left leg. The fracture occurred during a national team training camp in preparation for the May 20-21 World Cup, featuring six of the top female wrestling teams in the world.

   National team head coach Kazuhito Sakae said the injury was not a compound fracture, adding that he expected Sakamoto to be back on the mats soon.

   Sakae said that team officials would monitor Sakamoto's progress at future training camps and then decide on Japan's entry at 67 kg for the world championships in China (September 25-October 1, Guangzhou).


   TOKYO (APRIL 29) - The Japanese Wrestling Federation announced its line-up for the May 20-21 World Cup of women's wrestling in Nagoya. The Japanese squad will feature six reigning or past world champions at seven of the weight categories.

   At 67 kg, where Japan does not have a senior world title holder, junior world champion Mami Shinkai has been named in place of injured Eri Sakamoto. Japan will be seeking its third straight and fifth overall World Cup crown.

   Canada, China, Russia, Ukraine and the United States along with Japan will be divided into two groups of three teams each for the round-robin preliminaries.

   The winners of each group will wrestle for the team championship, the second-place finishers in each group for third-place overall with the remaining two teams battling it out for fifth place.

   In this year's meet, teams will need to secure wins in four of the seven individual matches to secure the dual meet victory. In the past, it was possible under the classification point scoring system to win the dual meet with victories in only three of the individual matches.

   Also, the order of bouts in the dual meets will be 51, 59, 67, 48, 55, 63 and 72 kg in contrast to the previous practice of starting at 48 kg and progressing in order by weight category.

Japan's entries by weight:
48 kg - Chiharu Icho, Makiko Sakamoto
51 kg - Hitomi Sakamoto, Yuri Kai
55 kg - Saori Yoshida, Chikako Matsukawa
59 kg - Seiko Yamamoto, Mio Nishimaki
63 kg - Kaori Icho, Ayako Shoda
67 kg - Mami Shinkai, Yoshiko Inoue
72 kg - Kyoko Hamaguchi, Ayako Murashima


   TOKYO (April 29) - Olympic and world medalists lead the charge for five teams hoping to unseat Japan as women's World Cup champion on May 20-21. The United States, which won the World Cup crown in 2003, is led by Olympic silver medalist Sara McMann, bronze medalist Patricia Miranda and two-time world champion Kristie Marano.

   China brings world champion Ren Xueceng and world runners-up Su Lihui and Jing Ruixue. Xu Haiyan owns a rare win over Japan's Kaori Icho at the 2002 Asian Games.

   Russia's line-up will feature world bronze medal winner Natalie Golts along with three other winners from this year's European championships. A dangerous Canadian squad is led by Olympic silver medalist Tonya Verbeek and world bronze medal winner Carol Huynh.

   Ukraine has entered Olympic gold medalist Irina Melnik, but since countries are limited to one entry per weight category, the European power may opt to send newly crowned continental champ Mariya Stadnyk.Entries by country:

United States
48 kg - Clarissa Chun
51 kg - Patricia Miranda (04 Olympics, bronze)
55 kg - Sharon Jacobson
59 kg - Sally Roberts (05 worlds, 3rd)
63 kg - Sara McMann (04 Olympics, silver)
67 kg - Katie Dowing (05 worlds, 3rd)
72 kg - Kristie Marano (03 worlds, 1st-67 kg)

48 kg - Carol Huynh (05 worlds, 3rd)
51 kg - Belinda Chou
55 kg - Tonya Verbeek (04 Olympics, silver)
59 kg - Breanne Graham (05 Universiade, 3rd)
63 kg - Megan Dolan
67 kg - Megan Buydens
72 kg - Ohenewa Akuffo (05 Universiade, 1st)

48 kg - Liliya Kaskarakova (06 Europe, 2nd)
     Lorisa Oorzhak
51 kg - Natalia Smirnova (06 Europe, 3rd)
     Inga Karamchakova (02 worlds, 2nd)
55 kg - Natalia Golts (05 worlds, 3rd)
59 kg - Liubov Volosova (06 Europe, 1st)
63 kg - Alena Kartashova (06 Europe, 1st)
67 kg - Elena Perepelkina (06 Europe, 1st)
     Natalia Kuksina
72 kg - Darya Nazarova
     Alena Starodubtseva

48 kg - Liao Rong
51 kg - Ren Xueceng (05 worlds, 1st-48 kg)
55 kg - Su Lihui (05 worlds, 2nd)
59 kg - Wang Ying
63 kg - Xu Haiyan (02 Asian Games, 1st)
67 kg - Jing Ruixue (05 worlds, 2nd-63 kg)
72 kg - Xiao Li

48 kg - Irini Merleni (04 Olympics, 1st)
     Mariya Stadnyk (06 Europe, 1st)
51 kg - Aleksandra Kohut (06 Europe, 3rd)
     Viktoriya Yemelyanova
55 kg - Tatiana Lazareva (04 Europe, 2nd)
     Mariyana Bavdyk
59 kg - Elena Komarova
     Nataliya Synyshyn (05 Euro jr., 1st)
63 kg - Olga Butkevich
     Anna Vasylenko (05 Euro jr., 1st)
     Lyudmila Golovchenko
67 kg - Valeriya Zlatova
     Maryana Kvyatkovska (05 Euro jr., 1st)
72 kg - Svitlana Saienko (05 worlds, 3rd)
     Nadiya Sementsova


   ISAWA, Yamanashi Prefecture (April 12) - The wrestling club at Yamanashi Gakuin University announced the launch of a pankration team in ceremonies that included a demonstration of the ancient combination of wrestling and boxing.

   The YGU wrestlers selected for the squad will reportedly practice pankration along with their regular freestyle and greco-roman techniques. The Japan Wrestling Federation indicated in March that it plans to propose to FILA that wrestling's international governing body adopt pankration as a fourth style -- along with freestyle, greco-roman and women's freestyle.


   TOKYO (April 6) - Organizers of the Meiji Nyugyo Cup men's national invitational wrestling tournament announced changes in the June 3-4 meet. Organizers originally planned to feature greco-roman on June 3 and freestyle on June 4.

   The new schedule will see greco-roman competition at 66, 74, 96 and 120 kg along with freestyle matches at 84, 96 and 120 kg. The remaining weight categories in freestyle and greco-roman will be contested on June 4.

   Competition in all of the men's categories will also include special wrestle-offs for national team berths, if required. The final wrestle-off for the women's national team at 59 kg between Ayako Shoda and Seiko Yamamoto is scheduled for June 4.