To Our Friends in Wrestling Around the world

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


BISHKEK (May 13) - Ryutaro Matsumoto could only manage a fifth place finish for Japan as Japanese greco-roman wrestlers were shut out of the medals for a second straight year at the Asian wrestling championships.

Matsumoto got off to a good start at 60 kg, coming from behind to defeat Uzbek veteran Kamol Khalmatov, but then fell to Moon Ho-Seon of Korea in the semifinals. In the match for third place, Matsumoto could not score against China’s Sheng Jiang, the silver medalist in last year’s Asian championships and at the Asian Games in Doha, and had to settle for fifth.

Japan’s other two entries on the final day of wrestling at the championships did not advance beyond their first matches. Shuhei Kuraya, Matsumoto’s teammate at Nippon Sports Science University, fell to Asian junior bronze medalist Zhakhangir Muminov of Uzbekistan at 74 kg. Kenzo Kato went down to Asian Games bronze medalist Al Ken Mohamad of Syria at 96 kg.

Results of individual bouts involving Japanese wrestlers (times and scores are unofficial):

60 kg - MATSUMOTO, Ryutaro (5th, 10 entries)
R1 - bye
R2 - df. Kamol Khalmatov (UZB), 2-1 (0-5=1:42, 6-1, 4-3)
Matsumoto loses the first period on a 5-point throw by Khalmatov. Matsumoto regains the momentum with a 3-point counter to a bodylock attack in the second. In the third period, Matsumoto falls behind 0-3 on a lift in par terre, but gets two back with a 2-point penalty for a false start and then wins with a gut wrench in the final five seconds.

SF - lost to Moon Ho-Seon (KOR), 0-2 (3-4, 0-6=1:45)
Matsumoto loses the first period on a late 3-point arm throw, and then gets hit with a false start and three-point lift in the second.

F3 - lost to Sheng Jiang (CHN), 0-2 (0-3, 0-3)
Matsumoto could not score on Sheng on the feet or on the mat and gave up both periods on a pair of gut wrenches.

74 kg - KURAYA, Shuhei (dnp, 10 entries)
R1 - lost to Zhakhangir Muminov (UZB), 0-2 (2-4, 1-1x)
Kuraya gives up a pair of gut wrenches in the first period and can answer to one. Neither wrestler can score in the second period and Muminov wins by virtue of defending last.

96 kg - KATO, Kenzo (dnp, 10 entries)
R1 - lost to Al Ken Mohamad (SYR), 0-2 (3-4, 1-2)
Kato jumps out to a quick 3-0 lead with a headlock in the first period, but cannot score in par terre (3-1) and then gives up a 3-point lift. In the second period, Kato misfires on a gut wrench.