To Our Friends in Wrestling Around the world

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


BEIJING (Aug 21) - Yuji Okamoto of Takushoku University reeled off three straight wins on the opening day of the junior wrestling world championships, but had to settle for fifth place at 60 kg in the greco-roman competition. Okamoto fell in the semifinals to European junior champion Rahman Bilici of Turkey 0-2, 0-6 and then was edged in the final for third place 1-1, 0-2 by Ryu Hann-Soo of Korea. Bilici, meanwhile, repeated his Euro championship performance of two months ago by defeating Ibragim Labazanov of Russia 4-2, 1-1 for the 60 kg crown.

Also for Japan, Senshu University teammates Hiroshi Uesako and Tsukiaki Nakatani lost in first round matches to American entries at 74 kg and 96 kg, respectively.

Japan’s fourth entry for the day, Masaharu Kaji of Aoyama Gakuin University, did not make weight at 50 kg for this test event for next year’s Olympic Games in the Chinese capital.

In the other gold medal finals, Reza Assadpour of Iran, a 12th-place finisher one year ago in the Guatemala world championships, defeated Azerbaijan’s Sardar Suleymanov 5-0, 5-4 for the 50-kg title.

At 74 kg, Arsen Julfalakyan of Armenia prevailed 6-0, 2-1 over Elvin Mursaliyev of Azerbaijan, while Ahmet Tacyldiz of Turkey took the 96-kg title with a 3-3, 5-1 win over Davod Gilnirang of Iran.

Results of bouts involving Japanese entries:

50 kg - Masaharu Kaji, Aoyama Gakuin Univ. (dnp, 15 entries)

60 kg - Yuji Okamoto, Takushoku Univ. (5th, 25 entries)
R1 - df. Aliaksandr Zabahonski (BLR), 2-1 (1x-1, 0-3, 1x-1)
R2 - df. Benjamin Hofman (GER), 2-1 (0-5, 3-0, 1x-1)
R3 - df. Xiao Bo (CHN), 2-0 (3-1, 1x-1)
SF - lost to Rahman Bilici (TUR), 0-2 (0-2, 0-6)
F3 - lost to Ryu Hann-Soo (KOR), 0-2 (1-1x, 0-2)

74 kg - Hiroshi Uesako, Senshu Univ. (20th, 27 entries)
R1 - lost to Chad Hemerson (USA), 0-2 (0-3, 2-2x)

96 kg - Tsukiaki Nakatani, Senshu (23rd, 23 entries)
R1 - lost to Robert Smith (USA) by TF, 0-2 (0-7, 0-6)