To Our Friends in Wrestling Around the world

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


BEIJING (August 26) - Atsushi Matsumoto earned a fifth place on the final day of the junior wrestling world championships and lifted Japan to 10th place overall in the freestyle team standings. Matsumoto of Nippon Sports Science University rebounded from a 1-2 loss in the quarterfinals to eventual champion Abdul Ammaev of Uzbekistan to advance to the bronze medal finals at 84 kg. There, however, Matsumoto could not keep up with Pan American junior champion Reineris Salas Perez of Cuba, settling for fifth place 1-6, 0-3.

Also on the final day of the championships, Tsuyoshi Aoki of Kokushikan University posted a pair of wins to finish seventh overall at 60 kg. Aoki fell to defending champion Dzamal Otarsultanov of Russia in the second round, and then again in the consolation brackets to eventual bronze medalist Aref Alizadeh of Iran.

Japan's third entry for the Kazuki Morikawa of Yamanashi Gakuin University lost in the opening round at 66 kg and did not have a chance at the consolation round. Japan did not have an entry at 120 kg.

Matsumoto's fifth place and Aoki's seventh, along with Sosuke Takatani's fifth at 74 kg the day before gave Japan 16 points and 10th place overall. However, Japanese wrestling officials are certain to return home disappointed after winning only a lone silver medal in all three styles. Fuyuko Mimura took the silver medal at 48 kg in the women's competition.

Russia won the men's freestyle race with three champions and 58 points, followed by Iran (56) and Turkey (51). Otarsultanov repeated as champion at 55 kg with a 3-0, 3-1 win over Sezar Akgul of Turkey while European junior champion Bakhtiar Akmedov of Russia edged Seyed Mohammad Azar Shakib of Iran 1-0, 1-0. In other finals, Bubba Jenkins of the United States defeated European junior champ Okay Koksal of Turkey 1-0, 3-0 at 66 kg, and Ammaev stopped Anzor Urishev of Russia 2-1, 3-2 at 84 kg.

Results of bouts involving Japanese entries:

55 kg - Tsuyoshi Aoki, Kokushikan (7th, 26 entries)
R1 - df. Somvir (IND) by fall, 3P=6:00 (3-3x, 5-2, 6-0)
R2 - lost to Dzamal Otarsultanov (RUS), 0-2 (0-2, 6-0)
r1 - df. Jang Gwang-Ho (KOR), 2-0 (6-0, 5-2)
r2 - lost to Aref Alizadaeh (IRI), 0-2 (0-1, 0-3)

66 kg - Kazuki Morikawa, YGU. (15th, 28 entries)
R1 - lost to Ignatij Androsov (TJK), 0-2 (1-1x, 2-2x)

84 kg - Atsushi Matsumoto, NSSU (5th, 28 entries)
R1 - bye
R2 - df. Leon Rattigan (GBR), 2-1 (3-1, 1-4, 7-4)
R3 - lost to Abdul Ammaev (UZB), 1-2 (0-3, 1x-1, 1-4)
r1 - df. Yuri Maier (ARG), 2-0 (3-0, 6-0)
F3 - lost to Reineris Salas Perez (CUB), 0-2 (1-6, 0-3)

120 kg - Japan, no entry (17 entries)