To Our Friends in Wrestling Around the world

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


SOFIA (August 4) - Shingo Matsumoto capped a good day at the office with a 5-point reverse waistlock and throw to earn a bronze medal at the Nikola Petrov international greco-roman wrestling tournament.

Matsumoto's four wins at 84 kg included a hard-fought triumph over world bronze medalist and Asian champion Saman Tahmasebi of Iran. His only loss came at the hands of nemesis Melonin Nuomonvi in the semifinals. The explosive French wrestler now owns three straight wins over Matsumoto.

"(Nuomonvi) is very good at the start of the par terre periods. I have to improve my own starts," said Matsumoto, whose failure to clinch against Nuomonvi cost him a penalty point and maybe the match. "I've wrestled him in training camp, so I know what things I have to work on to beat him," added Matsumoto. "I'll keep working on it and we'lll see what happens at the world championships."

Despite the loss, Matsumoto rebounded aggressively in the bronze medal match. He put an exclamation mark at the end of a solid day of wrestling with a 5-point reverse lift and throw.

Japanese wrestlers failed to win any more medals, but national team newcomer Tsukasa Tsurumaki showed some unorthodox wrestling and finished in fifth place. Tsurumaki had his chances against junior world No. 3 Evgeny Popov of Russia, but a couple of risky moves put him in trouble.

Meanwhile, Japanese veteran Makoto Sasamoto went toe-to-toe with world No. 3 Vycheslav Dzhaste of Russia, but lost on a flying start penalty. Sasamoto was knocked out the competition when Dzhaste lost to Serbia's Stefanek Davor in the semifinals. "Starts in the par terre position are something we have to work on when we go home," greco-roman coach Hiromichi Ito said after the competition. "In Japan, the referees are calling the infractions strictly. But here in Europe, it seems like nothing has changed from last year," added Ito.

The men's freestyle and greco-roman teams return to Japan to prepare for the world championships September 17-23 in Baku, Azerbaijan.

Results of matches involving Japanese wrestlers

55 kg (16 entries)
Japan no entry


60 kg - SASAMOTO, Makoto (dnp, 16 entries)
R1 - lost to Vyacheslav Dzhaste (RUS), 0-2 (1-1x, 1-3)
Sasamoto scores with an arm throw to open the second period, but is hit with a two-point false start penalty in the down position.

60 kg - TOYOTA, Masatoshi (dnp, 16 entries)
R1 - lost to Sudju Soner (TUR), 0-2 (1-4, 1-2)
Toyota gives up a reverse waistlock and lift in the first period and is dropped to his back trying to switch in the second.


66 kg - IMURO, Masaki (dnp, 20 entries)
R1 - bye

R2 - df. Tizziano Gorriga (ITA), 2-1 (1-2, 5-0, 4-0)
After a dispute in the first period, Imuro comes back with lifts in the second and third to win.

R3 - lost to Ambako Vachadze (RUS), 0-2 (0-6=1:45, 0-7=1:12)
Imuro cannot stop Vachadze's gut wrench and then jams his thumb to make a quick exit.


66 kg - FUJIYAMA, Shinpei (dnp, 20 entries)
R1 - df. Georgian Carpen (ROM), 2-0 (2-1, 6-1)
Fujiyama tilts from the front in the first period and uncorks reverse lift in the second.

R2 - lost to Mohammadi Ali (IRI), 1-2 (3-0, 0-3, 2-2x)
Fujiyama has control of the third period after his opponent's false start penalty, but uses his leg to block a lift and is hit with a 2-point penalty of his own.


74 kg - TSURUMAKI, Tsukasa (5th, 19 entries)
R1 - bye

R2 - df. Bedel Umid (TUR), 2-0 (1x-1, 3-1)
Tsurumaki flips his opponent over from underneath in par terre for two points in the second period.

R3 - lost to Evgeny Popov (RUS), 1-2 (0-4, 3-1, 1-4)
Tsurumaki takes the second period from last year's junior world bronze medalist with a back drop, but cannot keep the momentum going in the third as he gives up a pair of tilts.

r1 - df. Goran Bulatovic (MNE), 2-0 (3-0, 3-0)
Tsurumaki shows a bend-but-don't-break defense in par terre and then scores with timely gut wrenches to win in straight sets.

F3 - lost to Malmut Altay (TUR), 0-2 (0-6, 0-3)
Tsurumaki could not defend against the Turkish veteran, who rolled up all the points he needed with three gut wrenches.


84 kg - MATSUMOTO, Shingo (3rd, 21 entries)
R1 - df. Dejan Franjkovic (SRB) by fall, 2P=1:22 (3-0, 3-0)
Matsumoto ties up both arms for tilts from the front in both periods, covering his opponent for the fall.

R2 - df. Saman Tahmasebi (IRI), 2-1 (1-1x, 2-1, 1x-1)
Matsumoto wins the battle of tight defenses against world No. 3, although he was turned just after time expired.

R3 - df. Mohamed Judjedag (TUR), 2-0 (TF6-0=1:15, TF6-0=1:22)
Matsumoto wins by technical fall with a pair of reverse lifts and two headlocks.

SF - lost to Melonin Nuomonvi (FRA), 0-2 (0-7=1:15, 1-2x)
Matsumoto drops the first period after giving up two lifts to Nuomonvi and then is penalized for not taking a grip in the second.

F3 - df. Georgi Zayakov (BUL), 2-0 (5-2, 10-0=1:07)
Matsumoto shook off a chippy first period, interrupted by two video reviews, and broke the match open with a pair of reverse lifts -- the last one for five points -- in the second.


96 kg - KATO, Kenzo (dnp, 19 entries)
R1 - bye
R2 - lost to Vasily Teploukov (RUS) by fall, 1P=1:43 (4-0)
Teploukov hoists Kato from par terre and places his shoulders on the mat of the fall.

r1 - lost to Vincent Vidal (FRA) by fall, 1P=1:54 (0-3)
Kato had the first chance on top in par terre and attempted a front headlock turn, but Vidal came out on top and covered for the fall.


120 kg (12 entries
Japan no entry