To Our Friends in Wrestling Around the world


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


By Sachiko Hotaka

   ALMATY (April 6) - Japanese students Yuri Funatsu (left) and Chikako Matsukawa (right) struck gold as the women's wrestling event got under way on the second day of the Asian Wrestling Championships. Yosuke Kato won a bronze medal at for Japan as the men's freestyle competition concluded.

   Funatsu, a former Asia junior champion from Toyo University, defeated veteran Wu Li-chuan of Chinese Taipei for the gold medal at 48 kg. Matsukawa, meanwhile, an All-Japan runner-up from Nihon University, edged last year's Asia junior silver medalist Liu Haixin of China 1-0, 1-0 for the title at 55 kg.

   In men's freestyle, Kato rebounded from a second-round loss to Iran's Hadi Habibi to claim the bronze medal at 74 kg with a win over 2002 Asian Games champion Cho Byung-Kwan of Korea. Shinichi Inoue, however, lost in his third-place match at 60 kg to last year's junior world bronze medalist Baurzhan Orazgaliyev of Kazakhstan and had to settle for fifth place. At 96 kg, Kiyotaka Kodaira lost to China's Cui Xiaocheng in the second round and did not qualify for the wrestle-backs for a bronze medal.

Results of matches involving Japanese entries:

Women's freestyle
48 kg - FUNATSU, Yuri (1st)
1R - bye
2R - df. Viktoria Kalandarova (KGZ) by fall, 1P=1:08
SF - df. Li Xiaomei (CHN), 2-1 (2-5, 1-0, 1-0)
F1 - df. Wu Li-chuan (TPE), 2-1 (2-0, 0-4, 2-0)
55 kg - MATSUKAWA, Chikako (1st)
1R - df. Kim Un-A (PRK) by fall, 2P=0:32
2R - df. Miruyert Dynbaeva (KAZ), 2-0 (3-0, 4-2)
SF - df. Lee So-Na (KOR) by fall, 2P=1:10
F1 - df. Liu Haixin(CHN), 2-0 (1-0, 1-0)
Men's freestyle
60 kg - INOUE, Shinichi (5th)
1R - df. Roshan Indika (SRL), 2-0 (5-0, 6-0)
2R - lost to Ri Yong-Chol (PRK), 0-2 (1-2, 0-1)
r1 - df. Ali M. Jasim (IRQ), 2-0 (5-1, 8-4)
F3 - lost to Baurzhan Orazgaliyev (KAZ), 0-2 (1-1x, 0-1)
74 kg - KATO, Yosuke (3rd)
1R - bye
2R - lost to Hadi Habibi (IRI) by fall, 2P=1:59
F3 - df. Cho Byung-Kwan (KOR), 2-0 (1-0, 1-0)
96 kg - KODAIRA, Kiyotaka (did not place)
1R - bye
2R - lost to Cui Xiaocheng (CHN), 1-2 (0-2, 2-1, 1-5)
(Note: Did not qualify for repechage)