To Our Friends in Wrestling Around the world

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


TOKYO (September 9) - The Japan Wrestling Federation accepted the resignation of national team director Hideaki Tomiyama at its board of directors meeting.

JWF president Tomiaki Fukuda said the directors accepted the resignation because they thought eight years was too long a time for one person to serve as national team director. Tomiyama assumed the position following the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney. Fukuda added that the directors were not disappointed with the results of the national teams under Tomiyama.

The women’s world championships in Tokyo, October 11-13, will be Tomiyama’s last official event as national team director. Mitsuru Sato, a gold medal winner at the 1988 Seoul Olympics and now head coach at Senshu University, was recommended as Tomiyama’s successor.


TOKYO (September 18) - Waseda University overcame a rocky start against defending champion Nippon Sports Science University to claim a 4-3 victory and its first-ever Japanese collegiate national duals title.

Waseda captain Tetsuro Asami defeated 96kg collegiate open champ Keiki Shimoyashiki in the 120kg match to secure the victory for Waseda, which trailed 0-2 and 2-3 earlier in the championship final at Komazawa Gymnasium. Asami’s win gave Waseda, the alma mater of Japan’s father of wrestling Ichiro Hatta, its first dual meet crown since the competition was inaugurated in 1951.

Asami was named the outstanding wrestler of the competition while Yuhei Ishiyama (NSSU) was given the fighting spirit award.

Senshu University and Toyo University took home the trophies for third place.


TOKYO (September 26) - Only days after winning their first-ever collegiate dual meet crown, Waseda wrestlers showed their mettle again as two young team members helped apprehend a man after he allegedly groped a young woman repeatedly on a morning commuter train in Tokyo.

The incident, which occurred on September 22, received considerable coverage in the Japanese press. Kei Matsumoto, a second-year student from Nagasaki, and Tsuyoshi Yamaguchi, a freshman from Gifu, were traveling from the team dormitory in Higashi Fushimi to the school’s main campus in Tokyo for morning practice when the incident occurred on the Shinjuku line of the Seibu railway.

When the two wrestlers arrived at Takadanobaba station near the school, they reportedly challenged a middle-aged man they had witnessed repeatedly groping a young woman despite her efforts to get the alleged masher to stop.

After calling railway employees at the station, the Matsumoto and Yamaguchi followed the man as he attempted to walk away. Yamaguchi caught up with the man and held him until he was taken by station employees to the railway station office.

However, while the wrestlers and woman were giving their report to the station employees, the man bolted from the office and tried to get away. The alleged suspect ran to another platform, but again Yamaguchi chased him down and tackled him before he could get on another train.

“Actually, I felt terrible doing this because people around me were looking at me like I was beating up on some middle-aged guy,” Yamaguchi said. The woman and railway employees, however, thanked the two wrestlers for their help. Police who took their statement also encouraged Matsumoto and Yamaguchi to consider joining the police department when they finished school.

Matsumoto is the junior national champ at 60kg and finished 10th at the junior world championships this summer. Yamaguchi, meanwhile, won three national high school titles last year and added a key win in Waseda’s collegiate duals triumph on September 18.

Although the two missed morning practice on the day of the incident, they both worked out as they prepare for the collegiate greco-roman championships October 23-24 in Tokyo.


SAEKI, Oita (September 29) - Yasuhiro Inaba and Kunihiko Obata repeated as freestyle champions, at 55kg and 84kg respectively, on the second day of the national sports festival wrestling competition at Saiki municipal gymnasium.

Meanwhile, Kazuyuki Nagashima (74kg) and Takao Isokawa (96kg) improved on their runner-up performances a year ago to win their first festival championships.

Asian Games silver medalist Takafumi Kojima, whose quest for the Beijing Olympics ended with an untimely injury, rolled to a victory at 66kg to declare that he is fully recovered and is ready to renew his challenge for a berth on the Japanese national team.

In the high school division, Kyoto’s Kohei Kitamura won his fifth national title of the year at 74kg. Earlier this year, the second-year student at Kyoto Hachiman won at the national invitational, national cadet, high school freestyle and greco-roman national meets.

Senior men’s championship finals
55 - Yasuhiro Inaba (Tokyo) df. Naoki Tomioka (Nagano), 2-0
60 - Shigeki Osawa (Ibaraki) df. Shogo Maeda (Aichi), 2-1
66 - Takafumi Kojima (Yamaguchi) df. Kiyofumi Kanabuchi (Aomori), 2-1
74 - Kazuyuki Nagashima (Fukushima) df. Ryuta Takahashi (Saitama), 2-0
84 - Kunihiko Obata (Yamanashi) df. Hiroshi Shibata (Yamaguchi), 2-0
96 - Takao Isokawa (Yamaguchi) df. Kensei Sakamoto (Oita), 2-0
120 - Nobuyoshi Arakida (Aomori) df. Yoshitsugu Yoneyama (Gunma), 2-0

High school division winners
50 - Fumitaka Morishita (Ibaraki, Kasumigaura)
55 - Asahi Tanida (Shizuoka, Numazu Johoku)
60 - Yasuhiro Suzuki (Kagawa, Tadotsu)
66 - Tatsuya Ando, (Tokyo, Kanto Ichi)
74 - Kohei Kitamura (Kyoto, Kyoto Hachiman)
84 - Yukishiro, Tonomura (Akita, Akita Shogyo)
96 - Hideyuki Oyama (Saitama, Saitama Sakae)
120 - Yuta Onodera (Gifu, Gifu Kogyo)


SAIKI, Oita (October 1) - Former collegiate national champ Tetsuya Saikawa (Tochigi) defeated Beijing Olympian Kenzo Kato (Aichi) at 96kg to win his third national sports festival title in a row as wrestling competition at the national multi-sport event came to a close.

Also on the final day of greco-roman competition at Saiki municipal gymnasium, Ryutaro Matsumoto (Gunma) avenged a loss to Isshin Kuramoto (Shiga) at the national championships last year with a 2-0 triumph at 60kg for his second festival crown.

National champion Kohei Hasegawa (Shizuoka) continued his year-long undefeated streak at home at 55kg and won his first festival crown in two years.

In the high school division, Takahiro Inoue (Hyogo), who won the freestyle high school nationals at 60kg in August, won his fourth national title of the year.

In the race for the team title, Saitama won with 65.5 points, followed by Shizuoka (60.5) and Aomori (57.5). Host Oita finished in ninth place with 45 points.

Senior men’s championship finals
55 - Kohei Hasegawa (Shizuoka) df. Ryo Minemura (Kanagawa), 2-0
60 - Ryutaro Matsumoto (Gunma) df. Kazuma Kuramoto (Shiga), 2-0
66 - Noritomo Eto (Japan SDF) df. Hiroyuki Shimizu (Japan SDF), 2-0
74 - Tsutomu Fujimura (Japan SDF) df. Yuki Iwasaki (Shizuoka), 2-0
84 - Tsukasa Tsurumaki (Yamagata) df. Mitsuhiro Ota (Oita), 2-0
96 - Norikatsu Saikawa (Tochigi) df. Kenzo Kato (Aichi), 2-0
120 - Katsuya Kitamura (Tokyo) df. Atsushi Nakamura (Nara), 2-0

High school division winners
50 - Shota Tanokura (Tokyo, Jiyugaoka Gakuen)
55 - Yuji Togawa (Kagawa, Kagawa Chuo)
60 - Takahiro Inoue (Hyogo, Ikuei)
66 - Kazuhiro Hanayama (Ehime, Hachimanhama Kogyo)
74 - Ryunoboru Kamei (Oita, Nihon Bunri Daifu)
84 - Shun Kikuchi (Ibaraki, Kasumigaura)
96 - Katsutoshi Kanazawa (Iwate, Taneichi)
120 - Seiji Saiki (Hyogo, Ikuei)