To Our Friends in Wrestling Around the world

By William May
iJapan Amateur Wrestling Federation, Public Information Committee


WARSAW (May 2-4) - Kenichi Yumoto won the 60-kg title at the Olympic qualification tourney in Warsaw to give Japan its third ticket to this summerfs Beijing Games in freestyle wrestling. Yumoto, however, will have to win the Meiji Nyugyo Cup national invitational title on June 25-26 to secure his place on the Japanese team for Beijing.

Yumoto was the 60-kg runner-up at the national championships in December and will face a special wrestle-off with national champion Noriyuki Takatsuka if he does not win the Meiji Nyugyo title.

In Warsaw, Yumoto had to come from behind in both the quarterfinals and the semifinals for wins over up-and-coming Andrei Perpelita of Moldova and Jo Tong-Hyok of DPR Korea to nail down the Beijing berth. With the Olympic ticket in hand, Yumoto rolled 2-0, 6-1 in the final over Asia No. 8 Kim Jong-Dae of Korea.

Tomohiro Matsunaga (55 kg) and Kazuhiko Ikematsu (66 kg) qualified their weights for Japan at the Asian Championships in March and placed their names on the Japanese Olympic team roster.

Also in Warsaw, Takushoku University freshman Sosuke Takatani opened with a win over former Japanese collegiate champion Maximo Blanco of Venezuela (formerly of Nihon University), but fell in the quarterfinals and again in repechage.

Japanfs other three entries lost their opening matches in Warsaw, leaving Japan with only three freestyle entries for the Beijing Games.
Results of bouts involving Japanese entries:

60 kg - YUMOTO, Kenichi (1st, 28 entries)
R1 - df. Ganzorig Mandakhnaran (MGL), 2-1 (2-1, 3-4, 2-0)
R2 - df. George Bucur (ROU), 2-0 (2-1, 4-1)
R3 - df. Andrei Perpelita (MDA), 2-1 (1-1x, 4-0, 4-1)
SF - df. Jo Tong-Hyok (PRK), 2-1 (0-1, 4-0, 1-0=2:02)
F1 - df. Kim Jong-Dae (KOR), 2-0 (2-0, 6-1)

74 kg - TAKATANI, Sosuke (7th, 29 entries)
R1 - df. Maximo Blanco (VEN), 2-1 (0-1, 1-0=2:03, 4-3)
R2 - df. Ramesh Kumar (IND) by fall, 2P=1:54 (1-2, 7-0)
R3 - lost to Ahmet Gulhan (TUR), 0-2 (0-1=2:02, 2-3)
r1 - lost to Abdulkhakim Shapiyev (KAZ), 1-2 (1-0=2:06, 2-3, 0-1=2:29)

84 kg - SUZUKI, Yutaka (21st, 27 entries)
R1 - bye
R2 - lost to Imants Lagodskis (LAT), 0-2 (2-4, 0-3)

96 kg - KODAIRA, Kiyotaka (16th, 21 entries))
R1 - lost to Edgar Yenokyan (ARM), 0-2 (1-5, 3-6)

120 kg - ARAKIDA, Nobuyoshi (17th, 19 entries)
R1 - bye
R2 - lost to Antoine Jaoude (BRA), 0-2 (0-2, 0-1)


ROME (May 10-11) - Japanfs four entries in the first Olympic greco-roman qualification tourney for the Beijing Games failed to post a win.

55 kg - HASEGAWA, Kohei (20th, 25 entries)
R1 - lost to Vugar Ragimov (UKR), 0-2 (1-5=1:45, 1-2)

66 kg -FUJIMURA, Tsutomu (19th, 31 entries)
R1 - bye
R2 - lost to Tiziano Corriga (ITA), 1-2 (1-1x, 3-0, 0-3)

74 kg - TSURUMAKI, Tsutomu (22nd, 36 entries)
R1 - lost to Jure Kuhar (SLO), 1-2 (0-3, 3-0, 1-3)

120 kg - NAKAMURA, Atsushi (22nd, 22 entries)
R1 - bye
R2 - lost to Panagiotis Papadopoulos (GRE) by fall, 1P=1:11 (0-6)
r1 - lost to Anton Botev (AZE) by TF, 0-2 (0-7=1:17, 0-5=0:20)


TOKYO (May 9-11) - Yamanashi Gakuin University claimed its third East Japan collegiate wrestling championship title with a 5-2 thumping of pre-tourney favorite Nippon Sports Science University in the final. Yamanashi took the first four bouts from NSSU in the final at Komazawa Gymnasium to wrap up the victory quickly for the schoolfs first league title since 2001.

In the preliminaries, Waseda University finished second to NSSU in Group A with a 6-1 record, while Senshu University tied Yamanashi in Group B with a 6-1 mark, but was assigned second place with fewer individual wins (41-35) overall in the tourney.

Yamanashifs only loss was a 4-3 opening day shocker to unheralded Gunma University, which finished fifth in Group B with a 3-4 record.

In the second division, Rikkyo University defeated the Self-Defense University 5-2 for its first championship title under the current East Japan collegiate competition system.


NOVI SAD, Serbia (May 23-24) - Masatoshi Toyota advanced to the special Olympic qualification wrestle-off at the final greco-roman qualifying tourney, but came up short as Japan was unable to advance anyone to the Beijing Games.

Toyota, who took a third place at 55 kg, fell in three periods to European bronze medalist Peter Modos of Hungary in the wrestle-off between third-place finishers for a berth in the Olympics in August.

At 74 kg, Tsukasa Tsurumaki also made a short run at an Olympic berth with a pair of wins, including a three-period effort against Swedish veteran Mohammad Babulfath. In the quarterfinals, however, Tsurumaki could not get past Arsen Julfalakyan of Armenia and the junior world champfs powerful gut wrench.

The near-misses left the Japanese greco-roman team with only three qualifiers for the Beijing Olympics -- Makoto Sasamoto (60 kg), Shingo Matsumoto (84) and Kenzo Kato (96).
Results of bouts involving Japanese entries:

55 kg - TOYOTA, Masatoshi (18 entries)
R1 - bye
R2 - df. Mariusz Los (POL), 2-0 (2-0, 3-0)
R3 - df. Anar Zeinalov (EST), 2-1 (1-4, 2-1, 1x-1)
SF -lost to Yuri Koval (UKR), 0-2 (2-4, 0-4)
F3 - df. Shakhin Gasymov (TJK), 2-0 (2-1, 6-0=1:30)
Olympic Wrestle-off - lost to Peter Modos (HUN), 1-2 (2-1, 0-2, 1-1x)

66 kg - IMURO, Masaki (28 entries)
R1 - df. Gurbinder Singh (IND), 2-1 (3b-3, 1-2, 1x-1)
R2 - df. Tiziano Corriga (ITA), 2-1 (2-1, 1-2, 3-0)
R3 - lost to Georgios Bukis (GRE), 1-2 (1-2, 2-0, 1-1x)

74 kg - TSURUMAKI, Tsukasa (27 entries)
R1 - df. Graham Keitani (FSM), 2-0 (3-0, 6-0=2:00)
R2 - df. Mohammad Babulfath (SWE), 2-1 (0-3, 2-0, 1x-1)
R3 - lost to Arsen Julfalakyan (ARM), 2-0 (2-0, 3-0)

120 kg - SHINJO, Hirokazu (20 entries)

R1 - bye
R2 - lost to Revaz Chelidze (GEO), 0-2 (0-5, 0-3)


OSAKA (May 23-24) - Ritsumeikan University of Kyoto edged arch-rival Tokuyama University 4-3 at Osaka Prefectural Gymnasium for its third straight West Japan collegiate wrestling championship title. The triumph was Ritsumeikanfs 14th overall in the semi-annual championships. Third-place went to Nihon Bunri University from Oita while Chukyo Gakuin University in Gifu was fourth.

Fukuoka University won the second division with a 6-0 mark.


TOKYO (May 26) - National team director Hideaki Tomiyama voiced disappointment with Japanfs results in the menfs Olympic qualifying tournaments, but vowed that Japan would make its best efforts to win at the Olympic Games in Beijing. Japan qualified only six wrestlers in menfs freestyle and greco-roman for the Beijing Games, the nationfs poorest showing since a qualification system for the Olympics was first put in place for the 1992 Games in Barcelona.

gThere has to be a reason that we have fallen from nine entries in Athens to six in Beijing,h Tomiyama said in a recent interview. He did not appear ready, however, to try and offer an explanation. gThe coaches have done their best these past four years,h Tomiyama said, quickly adding gWefre not finished with our efforts for the Beijing Games. We are going to do our best to win medals at the weights where we are qualified.h

Japan is qualified at 55, 60 and 66 kg in freestyle as well as 60, 84 and 96 in greco-roman. Yuji Takada, chairman of the JWF board of directors, suggest that the wrestlers might be lacking gintensityh.

Takada pointed out that there were a number of veterans on the Japanese national team, adding gReally the best time for intense training is in the early 20fs. I think Russia is a good example of this.h Takadafs remarks are a signal that the Japanese wrestlers aiming for a berth at the 2012 Olympics in London can expect more intense training under a new line-up of national team coaches.
Japanfs record under the Olympic qualification system:

1992 Barcelona - 20 categories, 16 entries (FS 9, GR 7) - 80%
1996 Atlanta - 20, 12 (6, 6) - 60%
2000 Sydney - 16, 8 (4, 4) - 50%
2004 Athens - 14, 9 (5, 4) - 64%
2008 Beijing - 14, 6 (3,3) - 43%