To Our Friends in Wrestling Around the world

By William May
iJapan Amateur Wrestling Federation, Public Information Committee

June wrestling news


TOKYO (June 9) - World champion Chiharu Icho apparently will have the chance to defend her 48-kg title this fall at the world championships in Baku, the Japan Wrestling Federation revealed.

The JWF had been worried that Icho would not be allowed to compete at the worlds after failing to make weight for the Asian championships in May. FILA, wrestlingfs world governing body, had issued a directive earlier this year saying that a countryfs entrants to the world championships would be limited to the same number entered in the continental meets.

Icho had been troubled with back pains prior to the Asian championships, but made the trip to Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan only to miss making weight. Japan had no alternate for Icho at 48 kg and questions soon arose about whether she would be allowed to wrestle in Baku.

On June 8, however, JWF president Tomiaki Fukuda said he had been informed by FILA president Raphy Martinetti that Icho would be able to wrestle at the September 17-23 world meet in Baku. Martinetti reportedly said that other countries were facing similar situations and noted that Japanfs doctor at the Asian championships had submitted a medical report explaining Ichofs reasons for missing the meet.


TOKYO (June 27) - Tomiaki Fukuda, president of the Japan Wrestling Federation, will head up the Japanese delegation at the 2008 Olympic Games as chef de mission.

Fukuda will be the first representative from Japanese wrestling to hold the position as the top official of the Japanese delegation at the August 8-24 Games in Beijing. It is also the first time since the Japanese Olympic Committee (JOC) separated from the Japan Amateur Sports Association (JASA) in 1991 that the JOC has selected someone other than its president as chef de mission.

JOC president Tsunekazu Takeda, however, reportedly will be focusing on promoting Tokyofs bid for the 2016 Olympics while in Beijing. Still, Fukudafs selection as chef de mission is also being seen as recognition of his Olympic-related work. Fukuda is a senior executive board member of the JOC and is chairman of the JOCfs Sports Committee.

At past Olympics, Fukuda was head coach for the Japanese freestyle team at the 1984 Games in Los Angeles, served as a member of the JOC headquarters in Atlanta (1996) and Sydney (2000), and was general manager of the Japanese delegation in Athens.


TOKYO (June 18) - Japanfs freestyle and greco-roman squads kicked off their g100-day training camph as formal preparations for the world championships in September got under way.

In addition to special sessions for select members of the team at the Japan Institute of Sports Science (JISS), the two menfs squads will also have training camps in the mountains of Nagano and in Europe. The world championships will be held September 17-23 in Baku, Azerbaijan. These championships will also serve as the first round of qualifying for the 2008 Olympics in Beijing.

At the center of the training schedule, Japanfs top five medal hopefuls in freestyle and greco-roman will stay at JISS for full days of practices and training as well as video study sessions.

In addition to the training in Japan, veterans Makoto Sasamoto and Shingo Matsumoto will travel to Georgia and Bulgaria in July for six weeks of work with some of the top wrestlers in those greco-roman powerhouses. They will be joined in Bulgaria at the end of July for more training and the Nikola Petrov tournament in Sofia.

The freestyle team, meanwhile, head to Russia for training and the Beloglazov international in Kaliningrad and then join up with the greco-roman squad in Sofia, where they will compete in the Dan Kolov


MITO, Ibaraki (June 23-24) - Local favorite Chinami Abe
(photo) did not give up a point in three matches and cruised to her third straight title at the middle school wrestling national championships.

Abe of Mitofs No. 2 middle school, who won at 37 kg the previous two years, defeated Nachi Masuda of Kaji in Osaka in the final at 41 kg for the championship as was named the outstanding wrestler of the tourney. Abe became the seventh wrestler, and fourth female, to win three straight junior high championships.

The meet featured a total of 362 boys and 88 girls from 43 of Japanfs 47 prefectures, making it the largest ever in the 33 years of the championships.

Individual champions:

38 kg - Shinobu Ota, Kuraishi (Aomori)
42 kg - Yusuke Sugiyama, Mishima Minami (Shizuoka)
47 kg - Masakazu Kamoi, Shiun (Kagawa)
53 kg - Yuki Takahashi, Seiwa (Mie)
59 kg - Daisuke Shimada, Toyama (Aomori)
66 kg - Yuta Sakamoto, Tsuchiura No. 6 (Ibaraki)
73 kg - Masaki Kimura, Chiyoda (Gunma)
85 kg - Kenta Nagai, Yamao (Chiba)
120 kg - Yuya Matsuno, Wajima (Gifu)

37 kg - Yu Miyahara, Takasago (Toyama)
41 kg - Chinami Abe, Mito No. 2 (Ibaraki)
46 kg - Yuki Irie, Yokodai (Fukuoka)
52 kg - Chiho Hamada, Tachibana (Kanagawa)
58 kg - Hikari Sugawara, Isshi (Mie)
64 kg - Eri Iida, Kimagase (Chiba)
70 kg - Chiaki Tateno, Chikurai (Ibaraki)


TOKYO (June 18) - The Japan Wrestling Federation formally its team for the Asian junior wrestling championships in Manila, July 6-8. The team is largely comprised of the runners-up at the junior national championships in April, but will include national champion Masaharu Kaji of Aoyama Gakuin University as the Japanese entry at 50 kg in greco-roman.

The Asian junior championships were held twice in the 1980s and then after an interruption was restarted in 1998. Shigeki Ozawa won the freestyle title at 60 kg in 2005 and Nobuyoshi Arakida followed with the 120-kg crown last year. In greco-roman, Ryo Minemura won at 55 kg a year ago.

The first Asian junior womenfs meet was held in 2000, but the second was not organized until 2004 when Japanese wrestlers won seven of eight categories. Japan also took seven gold medals in 2005, but was held to three last year.

The menfs greco-roman competition is scheduled for July 6, with the women on July 7, concluding with menfs freestyle on July 8.

Japanfs individual entries are:

50 kg - Masaharu Kaji, Aoyama Gakuin Univ.
55 kg - Tsubasa Ogata, Nippon Sports Science Univ.
60 kg - Takumi Yokoyama, NSSU
66 kg - Shingo Shibata, NSSU
74 kg - Hiroto Uesako, Senshu Univ.
84 kg - Ryo Ito, Japan Self-Defense Forces
96 kg - Masaki Chikada , Ritsumeikan Univ.
120 kg - Ryuta Kono, AGU

50 kg - Yo Morita, Mii high school (Fukuoka)
55 kg - Yasuhiro Morita, NSSU
60 kg - Teppei Monya, Nihon Univ.
66 kg - Shota Shitochi, NSSU
74 kg - Manabu Kamata, Chukyo Gakuin Univ.
84 kg - Hiroshi Honda, Chuo Univ.
96 kg - Yutaro Baba, Senshu Univ.
120 kg - Tsutomu Takabayashi, Nihon Bunri Univ.

44 kg - Noriko Sakai, Chukyo Womenfs Univ.
48 kg - Nodoka Nishi, Waseda Univ.
51 kg - Reika Oyama, Shigakukan high school (Aichi)
55 kg - Mika Kunieda, Doshisha Univ.
59 kg - Mizuka Kajita, CWU
63 kg - Marina Takahashi, Waseda Univ.
67 kg - Chiaki Kajimoto, Kansai Univ.
72 kg - Anna Uno, Yokkaichi Shigo high school (Mie)


TOKYO (June 13-15) - Winners in the East Japan Collegiate Freshman-Sophomore Springtime Tournament at Komazawa Gymnasium in Tokyo:

55 kg - Yohei Fujimoto, Waseda University
60 kg - Hiroyuki Oda, Kokushikan University
66 kg - Shota Shitochi, Nippon Sports Science University
74 kg - Hayato Konishi, Daito Bunka University
84 kg - Atsushi Matsumoto, NSSU
96 kg - Kenji Fujimoto, Takushoku University
120 kg - Masahito Aizawa, Nihon University

55 kg - Tatsuya Tomioka, NSSU
60 kg - Shota Watanabe, NSSU
66 kg - Tomohiro Inoue, NSSU
74 kg - Shigeyasu Sawada, Toyo University
84 kg - Kazuo Okumura, Takushoku
96 kg - Mizuki Watanabe, Yamanashi Gakuin University
120 kg - Ryuta Kono, Aoyama Gakuin University