To Our Friends in Wrestling Around the world

By William May
iJapan Amateur Wrestling Federation, Public Information Committee

March wrestling news


ANKARA, Turkey (March 3-4) - Tomohiro Matsunaga
(right) defeated compatriot Hidenori Taoka(left) to reclaim the 55-kg crown at the Yasar Dogu international freestyle tournament.

Matsunaga, the Yasar Dogu winner two years ago, dropped the first period in the 55-kg final 2-3 on Taokafs successful takedown counter, but then rallied 1-0, 1-0 to edge last yearfs national champion. In his first match of the competition, Matsunaga defeated 2005 world bronze medalist Naranbaatar Bayaraa 1-0, 1-1 to partially avenge for a loss to the young Mongolian in the third-place final in Budapest.

At 60 kg, Olympic bronze medalist Kenji Inoue upended national champion Kenichi Yumoto in the quarterfinals and went on to claim the bronze medal in his return to international competition. Yumoto finished in ninth place as Japan finished fourth overall in the team standings.

Meanwhile, Tatsuhiro Yonemitsu earned a second place at 66 kg, while Japanese national champion Takafumi Kojima fell victim to a controversial call that left him in fifth. Kazuyuki Nagashima and Yutaka Suzuki lost their first matches at 74 and 84 kg, respectively, and did not qualify for repechage.

Japan did not have entries at 96 and 120 kg.
Results of bouts involving Japanese entries:

55 kg - MATSUNAGA, Tomohiro (1st, 24 entries)
1R - bye
2R - df. Naranbaatar Bayaraa (MGL), 2-0 (1-0, 1-1)
3R - df. Demir Muhammed (TUR) by fall, 1P=1:10
SF - df. Mahmut Bayoglu (TUR) by fall, 2P=2:00
F1 - df. Hidenori Taoka (JPN), 2-1 (2-3, 1-0, 1-0)

55 kg - TAOKA, Hidenori (2nd, 24 entries)
1R - df. Stetoslav Neychev (BUL), 2-0 (1-1, 7-0=1:48)
2R - df. Atalay Suhrab (TUR), 2-0 (3-0, 2-1)
3R - df. Akgul Sezer (TUR), 2-0 (3-0, 7-5)
SF - df. Marcel Ewald (GER), 2-0 (1-0, 1-0)
F1 - lost to Tomohiro Matsunaga (JPN), 1-2 (3-2, 0-1, 0-1)

60 kg - INOUE, Kenji (3rd, 21 entries)
1R - bye
2R - df. Erhan Bakir (TUR), 2-0 (2-1, 7-0=1:15)
3R - df. Kenichi Yumoto (JPN), 2-1 (1-0, 0-2, 1-0)
SF - lost to Cetin Ersin (TUR), 0-2 (1-2, 0-1)
F3 - df. Levani Chabradze (GEO), 2-1 (0-1, 3-3, 1-0=2:07)

60 kg - YUMOTO, Kenichi (9th, 21 entries)
1R - bye
2R - df. Mustafa Kartal (TUR), 2-0 (1-0, 5-1)
3R - lost to Kenji Inoue (JPN), 1-2 (0-1, 2-0, 0-1)

66 kg - KOJIMA, Takafumi (5th, 27 entries)
1R - df. Cadir Ugur (TUR) by fall, 3P=1:50)
2P - df. Yesil Ayetullah (TUR), 2-1 (1-0=2:08, 1-4, 5-4)
3P - df. Ilkhan Muhammed (TUR), 2-0 (1-0=2:30, 1-0=2:30)
SF - lost to Ramazan Sahin (TUR) by fall, 2P=1:14
F3 - lost to Rasul Dzavkaev (RUS), 1-2 (0-1, 1-0, 1-1)

66 kg - YONEMITSU, Tatsuya (2nd, 27 entries)
1R - bye
2R - df. Martin Emilov (BUL) by fall, 3P=0:18
3R - df. Kuyucu Mustafa (TUR), 2-0 (1-0, 2-1)
SF - df. Zack Esposito (USA), 2-0 (4-2, 9-5=1:34)
F1 - lost to Ramazan Sahin (TUR), 0-2 (0-3, 0-7=0:51)

74 kg - NAGASHIMA, Kazuyuki (dnp, 25 entries)
1R - lost to Yusuf Kose (TUR), 0-2 (3-4, 1-2)

84 kg - SUZUKI, Yutaka (dnp, 24 entries)
1R - bye
2R - lost to Chris Pendleton (USA), 0-2 (4-4, 2-4)


KLIPPAN, Sweden (March 3-4) - Saitama high school student Ai Shimizu defeated Sachiko Suzuki of Tochigi for the crown at 51 kg and four Japanese cadets won titles at the Klippan Ladies international wrestling tournament.

Shimizu, who attends Sakae high school in Saitama, wrestled in the junior-senior division of the competition which featured Olympic medal winners Anna Gomis of France and Sara McMann of the United States. Nami Uchida, also from Saitama Sakae, took an eighth place at 48 kg as the young Japanese squad took seventh place overall in the junior-senior division.

In the cadet division, Japan won the team title with championships from Chinami Abe (Ibaraki, 40 kg), Miori Suzuki (Chiba, 43), Yuki Irie (Fukuoka, 46) and Chiaki Arai (Gunma, 60).


TOKYO (March 10) - A total of 447 wrestlers are entered to compete in the Japan Queens Cup tourney April 14 at Tokyofs Komazawa Gymnasium. A total of 69 wrestlers are entered in the senior division where berths on the 2007 world team will be at stake. The tourney will also feature 40 girls in the cadet division, 83 wrestlers in the schoolgirl competition and 225 girls in the kids categories.

In the senior division, berths to the world championships in Baku, Azerbaijan this fall will be on the line. Winners at the All-Japan meet in January only need to repeat at the JQC tourney to secure their ticket to the September 17-23 world championships. If a wrestler other than the national champion wins the JQC crown, a special wrestle-off will be held on June 10 during the menfs Meiji Nyugyo invitational and national team trials meet.

This yearfs JQC meet will also likely play a large role in determining Japanfs four entries for womenfs wrestling at the 2008 Olympics since the Japan Wrestling Federation has said any woman winning a world title in 2007 will automatically get the nod for Beijing.

Japan won five titles at the 2006 world championships, including three of the four Olympic weight categories -- Chiharu Icho (48 kg), Saori Yoshida (55) and Kaori Icho (63).


SZOMBATHELY, Hungary (March 10-11) - Promising young greco-roman wrestlers Ryutaro Matsumoto and Hiroyuki Shimizu made quick exits in tough competition at the Hungarian Grand Prix wrestling tournament.

Matsumoto of Nippon Sports Sciences University lost in three periods to Hugo Passos of Portugal in his first match at 60 kg and did not qualify for repechage. Shimizu of the Japan Self-Defense Forces squad posted a win at 66 kg, but then was eliminated after back-to-back losses in the third round and repechage.

Ryo Minemura of Kanagawa University, who won the Acropolis International title at 55 kg last month, did not compete in Hungary because of an injury.


TOKYO (March 25) - Tomiaki Fukuda was reelected president of the Japan Wrestling Federation and Yuji Takada was chosen again as chairman of the JWF board of directors at a meeting of JWF officials.

It will be the third two-year term as JWF president for Fukuda, who was took over the JWF leadership in April 2003.Takada, in the lead-up to next yearfs Olympic Games in Beijing, was also named to oversee the newly created performance enhancement division of the JWF as division chairman.

JWF officials also decided to submit its bid to host the womenfs world championships next year after the Beijing Olympics. Wrestling world championships in the past have never been held in the same year as the Olympic Games. But, with only four weight categories contested in womenfs wrestling at the Olympics, FILA has decided to stage a separate world championships in 2008 in order that a world champion at each of the seven weight categories in female wrestling can be determined.

The number of events for wrestling at the 2012 London Olympics has yet to be decided, but FILA has indicated that it will continue to petition the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to include all seven female weights in the Games.


NIIGATA, Niigata (March 27-29) - Kasumigaura high school of Ibaraki held off defending champion Akita Shogyo in a nail-biting finish at 120 kg to regain the team title at the national high school wrestling invitational championships.
The victory gave Kasumigaura its 16th team title overall in high school wrestlingfs spring classic after the Ibaraki squad slipped up in the round of 16 a year ago.

In the final, Kasumigaura won three of the first four bouts, but needed to wait until 120 kg to secure the victory when X n Shoma Moriuchi defeated Akitafs Takumi KikuchiTakumi Kikuchi, 1-0, 1-0. Third place went to Hanasaki Tokuharu of Saitama and Gifufs Ginan Kogyo.

In the individual competition, Sosuke Takaya Soryo Takaya of Kyotofs Amino high school scored first-period pins in his first four matches on his way to the 74-kg title. Takaya, the invitational champion a year ago at 66 kg, was one of four former junior high school champions to win in Niigata. The others were Tomoya Mizukoshizq(Kasumigaura, Ibaraki) at 50 kg, Kotaro Tanaka (Hachiman, Kyoto) at 55 kg and Arashi Nagao of (Kindaifu, Osaka) at 66 kg.
Championship final, team
Kasumigaura (Ibaraki) df. Akita Shogyo, 4-3

Akita Shogyo df. Hanasaki Tokuharu (Saitama), 6-1
Kasumigaura df. Ginan Kogyo (Gifu), 6-1

Championship finals, individual
50 kg - Tomoya Mizukoshi, Kasumigaura df. Mamoru Handa, Amino (Kyoto), 2-0 (3-0, 1-0)
55 kg - Kotaro Tanaka, Hachiman (Kyoto) df. Kenta Wakabayashi (Nihon Bunridaifu (Oita), 2-0 (2-0, 3-1)
60 kg - Tomotsugu Ishida, Ritsumeikan-Uji (Kyoto) df. Ryu Omachi, Sendai Ikuei (Miyagi), 2-0 (2-0, 3-0)
66 kg - Arashi Nagao, Kindaifu (Osaka) df. Terushi Miyazaki, Kanoya Chuo (Kagoshima) by fall, 1P=1:51
74 kg - Sosuke Takaya, Amino (Kyoto) df. Ken Karamushizawa, Kosei Gakuin (Aomori), 2-0 (2-0, 3-1)
84 kg - Tsuyoshi Yamaguchi, Nakatsu Shogyo (Gifu) df. Yoshinari Iwanaga, Shimabara (Nagasaki)
96 kg - Shinji Asada, Hojo (Aichi) df. Katsutoshi Kanazawa, Taneichi (Iwate), 2-1 (0-6=0:53, 1-0, 1-0)
120 kg - Takuya Masuda, Sakura Minami (Chiba) df. Shodai Tanida, Yamato Koryo (Nara)