To Our Friends in Wrestling Around the world

By William May
iJapan Amateur Wrestling Federation, Public Information Committee

September wrestling news


AKITA (October 7-8) - World silver medalist Makoto Sasamoto moved up a weight but had little trouble winning the 66-kg greco-roman crown at the National Sports Festival in Akita. Sasamoto, who won the silver medal at 60 kg in Baku only three weeks earlier, defeated reigning collegiate champion Fumiya Itakura of Aoyama Gakuin University 2-0 in the 66-kg final. Collegiate open champions Ryutaro Matsumoto and Norikatsu Saikawa, both of Nippon Sports Science University, won at 60 and 96 kg, respectively.

Former world team member Tomoya Murata defeated collegiate champion Ryo Minemura of Kanagawa University for the title at 55 kg.

In the final tallies for the festival wrestling competition, host Akita prefecture won with 103.5 points followed by Shizuoka (60), Hyogo (53) and Ibaraki (52.5).

Greco-roman, seniors (championship finals)
55 - Tomoya Murata (Mie) df. Ryo Minemura (Kanagawa), 2-0
60 - Ryutaro Matsumoto (Gunma) df. Hideo Kitaoka (Fukushima), 2-0)
66 - Makoto Sasamoto (Kanagawa) df. Fumiya Itakura (Akita), 2-0)
74 - Yuki Iwasaki (Shizuoka) df. Yuichi Tanaka (Okayama), 2-1
84 - Mitsuhiro Ota (Oita) df. Kazuo Okumura (Mie), 2-0
96 - Norikatsu Saikawa (Tochigi) df. Ken Sogabe (Tokushima), 2-0
120 - Naoki Sawada (Yamaguchi) df. Yusuke Morikaku (Nagano), 2-0

Greco-roman, schoolboys (individual winners)
50 - Tomoaki Nakano (Shizuoka)
55 - Ryohei Komata (Ibaraki)
60 - Takahiro Inoue (Hyogo)
66 - Takuya Tomizuka (Gunma)
74 - Taishi Fukunaga (Oita)
84 - Hiroyuki Yanagisawa (Hyogo)
96 - Takuma Arisono (Hyogo)
120 - Takuya Masuda (Chiba)


AKITA (October 5-6) - Kunihiko Obata won the 84-kg freestyle title at the National Sports Festival and signaled his bid to challenge for a spot in next yearfs Olympic Games in Beijing. Obata, who had reigned supreme in Japan at 76 kg and 74 kg from 1999, moved up to 84 after failing to make his first world team since 2001 this year. Obata defeated 2005 world team member Satoru Yamamoto in the semifinals and then rolled past collegiate open champion Naoki Monma for his third festival title.

At 55 kg, collegiate kingpin Yasuhito Inaba defeated defending champion Shinichi Yumoto in the semifinals and stopped Asia champion Masashi Saito for his first triumph in Japanfs national version of the Olympics.

Meanwhile, Olympic veteran Hidekazu Yokoyama, who delivered the athletes pledge at the start of the sports festival, came out of retirement for the 96-kg crown and his 10th overall festival title.

Freestyle, seniors (championship finals)
55 - Yasuhiro Inaba (Ibaraki) df. Masashi Saito (Tokyo), 2-0)
60 - Shinya Odate (Saitama) df. Takeshi Sugitani (Tottori), 2-0)
66 - Kohei Fujimoto (Shizuoka) df. Kiyofumi Kanabuchi (Aomori), 2-1
74 - Ryuta Takahashi (Saitama) df. Kazuyuki Nagashima (Fukushima), 2-0
84 - Kunihiko Obata (Yamanashi) df. Naoki Monma (Akita), 2-1
96 - Hidekazu Yokoyama (Akita) df. Takao Isogakawa (Yamaguchi) by default
120 - Seitaro Yoshida (Akita) df. Yoshitsugu Yoneyama (Gunma), 2-1

Freestyle, schoolboys (individual winners)
50 - Takuma Yamauchi (Aomori)
55 - Kotaro Tanaka (Kyoto)
60 - Tomotsugu Ishida (Kyoto)
66 - Tatsuya Nabatame (Ibaraki)
74 - Sosuke Takatani (Kyoto)
84 - Tsuyoshi Yamaguchi (Gifu)
96 - Katsutoshi Kanazawa (Iwate)
120 - Shoma Moriuchi (Ibaraki)


TOKYO (October 4) - A number of winners from the shakaijin national championships will form the nucleus of Japanfs squad for the NYAC Holiday Open being held November 16-18 in New York City.

Japanfs tentative line-up includes:

55 - Toshiaki Kugo, Tokyo Metropolitan Police Dept.
60 - Kazunori Tani, Nihon University Club
74 - Kazuyuki Nagazhima, Clean-up Co.
120 - Koichiro Nishida, Fukui Wrestling Assocation

60 - Yuki Takeda, Yamaguchi Wrestling Association
74 - Tsutomu Fujimura, Japan Self Defense Forces
96 - Ken Sogabe, Tokushima Wrestling Association
120 - Masao Nakamoto, Hiroshima public schools instructor

55 - Yu Sekine, Japan SDF
63 - Kayoko Kudo, Japan SDF
67 - Asuka Sano, Japan SDF


TOKYO (October 2) - Five-time wrestling world champion Kyoko Hamaguchi was named an gathlete ambassadorh to promote Tokyofs bid to host the Olympic Games in 2016.

The eight athlete ambassadors selected by the Tokyo bid committee will take part in events and advertisements in support of the Japanese capitalfs bid.

Other athletes named as ambassadors included Olympic gold medalists Kosuke Kitajima and Ai Shibata (swimming), Hiroyuki Tomita (gymnastics) and Kosei Inoue (judo).

Hamaguchi was a bronze medalist in the Olympic debut of womenfs wrestling at the 2004 Athens Games and was the flag-bearer for the Japanese delegation at the opening ceremonies.


HIGASHI IZU, Shizuoka (October 14) - Winners from the Japan womenfs open at Higashi Izu municipal sports center:

Seniors, university students division
48 - Nami Uchida, Toyo University
51 - Naho Watanabe, Gold Kids wrestling club
55 - Yuka Watanabe, Nippon Sports Science University
59 - Eriko Nakata, Waseda University
63 - Karina Takahashi, Waseda
67 - Asuka Sano, Japan Self Defense Forces
72 - Haruka Kanazawa, International Pacific University

High school division
40 - Sakura Ueno, Amino (Kyoto)
43 - Miori Suzuki, Abe Gakuin (Tokyo)
46 - Minori Akeo, Amino
50 - Yu Horiuchi, Amino
54 - Haruka Takahashi, Tohoku Kodai (Miyagi)
58 - Yurika Ito, Amino
63 - Kaya Tsuda, Abe Gakuin
68 - Chiaki Iijima, Abe Gakuin
72 - Anna Uno, Yongo (Mie)


TOKYO (October 15) - JWF president Tomiaki Fukuda and others announced that a Nihon Sogo Kakutogi Kyokai (Japan Mixed Martial Arts Association) will be launched in order to spread and develop the mixed martial arts in Japan. Fukuda will serve as president of the mixed martial arts group while Hiroshi Hase, a member of the Japan Wrestling Federationfs board of directors, and House of Representatives member Takao Yasuda will be vice presidents.

JWF executive director Yuji Takada will be chairman of the board of directors for the new group, it was revealed at a press conference at a Tokyo hotel. gThis is not an association to oversee the mixed martial arts in Japan. We created the association in order firmly establish the mixed martial arts,h Fukuda told reporters.

gWe want to discuss the various aspects and then decide which way we will go. We want to have positive talks with the (mixed martial arts) organizations already in existence,h he added.


TOKYO (October 18-19) - Fumiya Itakura of Aoyama Gakuin defeated collegiate open champion Kohei Fujimoto in the semifinals at 66 kg and went on to defend his collegiate greco-roman national championship crown. Ryo Minemura of Kanagawa University doubled up collegiate titles (collegiate open and national championship) with a triumph at 55 kg.

Also at Komazawa Gymnasium, Norikatsu Saikawa moved up to 96 kg to lead Nippon Sports Science University to its 13th overall greco-roman team title and its first in three years.

Results of individual medal matches:

55 kg
F1 - Ryo Minemura (Kanagawa Univ) df. Kiyoharu Hirao (Nippon Sports Science Univ.), 2-1 (3-0, 0-2, 1x-1)
F3 - Toshiyuki Kitaoka (Yamanashi Gakuin Univ.) df. Yoshiaki Inoue (Kokushikan Univ.), 2-1
F3 - Yasuyuki Tateyama (Chuo Univ.) df. Takahiro Kato (Chukyo Gakuin Univ.), 2-0

60 kg
F1 - Kazuma Kuramoto (YGU) df. Ryutaro Matsumoto (NSSU), 2-0 (3-2, 1x-1)
F3 - Masashi Kimura (Tokuyama Univ.) df. Tatsuya Egawa, 2-1
F3 - Yuji Okayama (Takushoku Univ.) df. Yukinori Takeda (Nihon Bunri Univ.), 2-1

66 kg
F1 - Fumiya Kuramoto (Aoyama Gakuin Univ.) df. Kazuhiko Naruse (NSSU), 2-0 (1x-1, 1x-1)
F3 - Kenjiro Takahashi (YGU) df. Yasutsugu Taian (Koku), 2-0
F3 - Kohei Fujimoto (Taku) df. Hirohito Noda (Nihon Univ.), 2-0

74 kg
F1 - Keita Ito (Taku) df. Yuichi Tanaka (NSSU), 2-0 (1x-1, 2-1)
F3 - Masataka Fujinaga (Toku) df. Go Yaguchi (Gunma Univ.), 2-0
F3 - Hikaru Tanida (Ritsumeikan Univ.) df. Takahiro Kaneko (Kana), 2-0

84 kg
F1 - Yasuhiro Naguchi (NSSU) df. Masaaki Yano (Senshu Univ.), 2-1 (1-1x, 3-2, 1x-1)
F3 - Masayuki Amano (Chuo) df. Hiroya Sakai (Toku), 2-0
F3 - Kaito Takahashi (Wa) df. Yuji Shimada (Taku), 2-0

96 kg
F1 - Norikatsu Saikawa (NSSU) df. Yuji Yamamoto (YGU), 2-1 (0-6, 6-0, 6-0)
F3 - Takuya Ito (Wa) df. Masaki Chikada (Ritsu), 2-0
F3 - Shoichi Kitazono (Toku) df. Naoki Funayama, (Gun), 2-0

120 kg
F1 - Katsuya Kitamura (Sen) df. Atsushi Nakamura, (Taku), 2-1 ( 2-0, 1-1x, 2L-2)
F3 - Norihiko Sakurai (NSSU) df. Hirokazu Nagai (Chuo), 2-0
F3 - Ryuta Kono (AGU) df. Fumihiro Watanabe (Meiji Univ.)

1. NSSU, 66 points; 2. Takushoku, 38.5; 3. YGU, 34; 4. Senshu, 22; 5. Tokuyama, 21.5; 6. AGU, 20.


TOKYO (October 23) - Japanese referees Osamu Saito and Takaharu Ashida have been selected to officiate at the 2008 European championships, the final selection meet for referees for the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing.

Saito and Ashida, after officiating at this years junior and senior world championships, will attend an advanced referees clinic in the United States in December.

Final selection of the referees for the Olympic Games will be made after the European championships in Tampere, Finland, April 1-6, 2008.


TOKYO (October 27) - China, host of next yearfs Olympic Games, is sending its top wrestlers to Tokyo for an international training camp November 12-22.

The camp at the Japan Institute of Sports Science (JISS) will host wrestlers from seven countries, including Sweden, Britain and Mongolia.

China, however, looking ahead to the Olympic Games next August is sending nine of its top wrestlers, including 2004 Olympic champion Wang Xu (72 kg) and 2005 world champion Ren Xuechen (48 kg).

The Chinese roster will also include Meng Lili and Jing Ruixue who have combined for three straight world titles at 67 kg, even though 67 kg is not an Olympic weight category. Meng and Jing, however, both have experience at the Olympic weight of 63 kg.