To Our Friends in Wrestling Around the world

By William May
iJapan Amateur Wrestling Federation, Public Information Committee


TOKYO (April 24) - Wrestlingfs international governing body FILA has informed the Japan Wrestling Federation that Olympic and world champion Hideaki Tomiyama (photo) will be inducted to the international wrestling Hall of Fame this summer as a member of this yearfs class.

Tomiyama, the 1984 Olympic gold medalist at 57 kg, will become the sixth Japanese wrestler to be inducted in the hall with the formal awards presentation to be made at the Beijing Olympics on August 21, the final day of wrestling competition at the Games. In addition to his Olympic gold, Tomiyama won world titles in 1978 and 1979 and finished his career with three gold medals, two silver and a bronze at the world level. He was also member of the 1980 Japanese Olympic team that joined in the boycott of the Moscow Games.

Tomiyama, a professor at his alma mater of Nihon University, also serves as national team director for the JWF.
Previous Hall of Fall inductees from Japan are: Yuji Takada (2004), Yojiro (Uetake) Obata (2005), Shozo Sasahara (2006), and Masaaki Kaneko and Yayoi (Urano) Odagaki (2007).


MARTIGNY, Switzerland (April 18-20) - Japanese wrestlers came home empty-handed from the first Olympic qualification tournament in menfs freestyle, leaving Japan qualified in only two weight categories heading into the final qualifier in May.

Japanfs entry at 60 kg Noriyuki Takatsuka
(photo), who narrowly missed qualifying at the Asian championships in March, could not overcome a difficult draw which had him pitted against Olympic champion Yandro Quintana of Cuba in the first round and then facing 2006 world champion Seyed Mohammadi Panhekalaei of Iran in repechage.

Yutaka Suzuki came the closest to qualifying for Japan at 84 kg, advancing to the semifinals before losing to Asia No. 2 Ganzorig Chaagnadorj of Mongolia and to Harutyun Yenokyan of Armenia in the match for third place and a ticket to Beijing.
Akihito Tanaka lost to former Russian Olympic champion David Musulbes, now wrestling for Slovakia, in the first round and then succumbed to a number of bad offensive errors in repechange. Kazuyuki Nagashima and Kiyotaka Kodaira both lost early at 74 and 96 kg, respectively, and did not get the chance to wrestle in the consolation rounds.


60 kg - TAKATSUKA, Noriyuki (13th, 28 entries)
R1 - lost to Yandro Quintana (CUB), 1-2 (3-1, 0-1, 0-1)
Takatsuka scored early with a 3-point takedown, but could not generate any offense after that against the Athens gold medalist.

r1 - df. Gergo Woller (HUN), 2-0 (2-0, 2-0)
Takatsuka wins a one-sided match against the European bronze medalist.

r2 - lost to Seyed Mohammadi Pahnekalaei (IRI), 0-2 (0-6=1:24, 0-1)
Takatsukafs defense stiffens after being blitzed in the first period, but still could not score against the 2006 world champion.

74 kg - NAGASHIMA, Kazuyuki (28th, 29 entries)
R1 - lost to Alexandru Burca (MDA), 0-2 (0-1=2:04, 0-7=1:24)
Nagashima gets caught with an arm throw in second period and two quick tilts end the match.

84 kg - SUZUKI, Yutaka (5th, 28 entries)
R1 - df. Marco Arfe (ITA), 2-0 (2-0, 8-1)
Suzuki starts slowly, but changes gears in the second, nearly missing the fall at the end of the match.

R2 - df. Radoslaw Marcinkiewicz (POL) by fall, 1P (5-0)
Suzuki opens with takedown against his 21-year-old opponent and presses for the fall with a leg grapevine.

R3 - df. Armands Zviebulis (LAT), 2-1 (0-1, 2-0, 7-0)
Suzuki starts slow against the European junior champion and doesnft get rolling until the third period where he ducks and turns for a technical.

SF - lost to Chagnaadorj Ganzorig (MGL), 0-2 (1-4, 2-3)
Suzuki lets the lead slip away and gets caught on his back trying to regain the advantage in the first period. In the second, Suzuki again takes the lead, but loses in the final 30 seconds on a counter by the Asia No. 2.

F3 - lost to Harutyun Yenokyan (ARM), 1-2 (1-0=2:02, 0-1=2:03, 0-3=2:08)
Suzuki and Yenokyan trade periods from the clinch. In the third, Yenokyan gets the grip but Suzuki counters, only to see former junior world bronze medalist follow with a lift and drop for the ticket to Beijing.

96 kg - KODAIRA, Kiyotaka (6th, 28 entries)
R1 - df. Ian Wardell (AUS) by fall, 2P (4-0, 4-0)
Kodaira wraps up the Oceania champion with a leg grapevine in the second period.

R2 - lost to Luis Vivenez (VEN), 1-2 (0-3, 4-1, 2-3)
Kodaira had the Pan American silver medalist on the ropes 2-0 in the third period, but gave up a takedown and gut wrench in the final 30 seconds.

120 kg - TANAKA, Akihito (13th, 24 entries)
R1 - lost to David Musulbes (SVK), 0-2 (0-6=1:07, 0-7=1:30)
Tanaka could get little offense going against the former Olympic and world champion from Russia, now wrestling for Slovakia.

r1 - lost to Arjan Bhullar (CAN), 1-2 (3-0, 0-1, 1-3)
Tanaka wins the first period from the clinch against the Pan America No. 3, but was penalized for gfleeing the holdh in the second. Tanaka takes the lead in the second period with a clean takedown, but misses on the next three resulting in points for his opponent.


Results of championship and third-place matches (Finalists and third-place winners qualify for Beijing Olympics):

55 kg (23 entries)
F1 - Radoslav Velikov (BUL) df. Kim Hyo-Sub (KOR), 2-0 (1-0=2:08, 1-0=2;04)
F3 - Namik Sevdimov (AZE) df. John Pineda (CAN), 2-0 (2-0, 4-3)
F3 - Abbas Dabbaghi Souraki (IRI) df. Marcel Ewald (GER), 2-0 (1-0, 1-0)

60 kg (28 entries)
F1 - Yandro Qintana (CUB) df. Zalimkhan Heseynov (AZE), 2-0 (1-0, 3-0)
F3 - Vitalij Korjakin (TJK) df. Malkaz Kurdiani (GEO), 2-1 (0-3, 4-1, 1-0)
F3 - Seyed Mohammadi Panhekalaei (IRI) df. Ganzorig Mandakhnaran (MGL) by fall, 2P=1:44 (6-0=1:00, 8-0)

66 kg (26 entries)
F1 - Mehdi Taghavi Kermani (IRI) df. Serafim Barzakov (BUL), 2-1 (1-0=2:03, 0-1, 4-2)
F3 - Albert Batyrov (BLR) df. Gregory Sarrasin (SUI), 2-1 (1-2, 3-0=2:04, 1-0)
F3 - Suren Markosyan (ARM) df. Sandor Tozser (HUN), 2-0 (2-0, 5-1)

74 kg (29 entries)
F1 - Soslan Tigiev (UZB) df. Ali Asghar Bazrighaleh (IRI), 2-0 (1-0, 1-0)
F3 - Krystian Brzozowski (POL) df. Emzarios Bentinidis (GRE), 2-0 (2-0, 1-0=2:03)
F3 - Kiril Terziev (BUL) df. Seiffadin Osmanov (KAZ), 2-1 (0-1, 1-0, 2-0)

84 kg (28 entries)
F1 - Nauruz Temrezov (AZE) df. Ganzorig Chagnaadorj (MGL), 2-0 (4-0, 3-0)
F3 - Harutyun Yenokyan df. Yutaka Suzuki (JPN), 2-1 (1-0=2:02, 0-1=2:03, 0-1=2:08)
F3 - Roylandy Zuniga (CUB) df. Gennadiy Laliyev (KAZ), 2-0 (1-0=2:03, 1-0=2:04)

96 kg (28 entries)
F1 - Khetag Gazumov (AZE) df. Nicolai Ceban (MDA), 2-0 (2-1, 4-0)
F3 - David Zilbermann (CAN) df. Luis Vivenes (VEN), 2-0 (2-1, 3-2)
F3 - Ruslan Sheykhov (BLR) df. Shamil Citinov (ARM), 2-0 (2-0, 4-0)
(Note: Sheykhov and Citinov were both disqualified for unsportsmanlike conduct; Vivenes is awarded third place and qualifies for the Beijing Olympics.)

120 kg (24 entries)
F1 - David Musulbes (SVK) df. Rajeev Tomar (IND) by fall, 1P=0:56 (3-0)
F3 - Bartolomiej Bartnicki (POL) df. Maksim Mikhalevich (BLR), 2-0 (1-0, 1-0=2:30)
F3 - Marid Mutalimov (KAZ) df. Jargalsaikhan Chuluunbat (MGL), 2-0 (1-0, 2-0)


YOKOHAMA (April 27) - Atsushi Matsumoto of Nippon Sports Science University repeated as 84-kg freestyle champion at the junior national championships in Yokohama and was named the recipient of the JOC Cup as the meetfs outstanding wrestler.

Nobuyoshi Arakida of Senshu University, meanwhile, won his fourth straight heavyweight crown in the annual junior-cadet championships at Yokohamafs Bunka Gymnasium. In the greco-roman competition, last yearfs high school national champion Takuya Tomitsuka, now of NSSU, defeated defending champion Yuji Okamoto of Takushoku University. Senshufs Shinichi Hirakawa repeated as the 120-kg champion.

Individual champions were:

50 kg - Mamoru Handa, Amino HS (Kyoto)
55 kg - Manabu Sudo, Nihon University
60 kg - Kei Matsumoto, Waseda University
66 kg - Hiroyuki Oda, Kokushikan University
74 kg - Takashi Taketomi, Waseda
84 kg - Atsushi Matsumoto, NSSU
96 kg - Mitsuhiro Naito, Nihon
120 kg - Nobuyoshi Arakida, Senshu

50 kg - Taichi Matsubara, Daito Bunka University
55 kg - Masato Suzuki, Meiji University
60 kg - Takumi Yokoyama, NSSU
66 kg - Takuya Tomitsuka, NSSU
74 kg - Tomoaki Tobe, NSSU
84 kg - Masayuki Amano, Chuo University
96 kg - Tsukiaki Nakatani, Senshu
120 kg - Shinichi Hirakawa, Senshu


YOKOHAMA ( April 26) - Fuyuko Mimura of Nihon University won her third straight junior title at 48 kg and Yu Horiuchi of Kyotofs Amino high school won her first crown at 51 kg and the junior-cadet national championships.

Mimura, formerly of Amino, and Horiuchi won for the fifth straight year at the combined junior and cadet competition at Yokohamafs Bunka Gymnasium. Horiuchi was named the outstanding wrestler of the girlsf competition.

Individual winners in the junior division were:

44 kg - Chiaki Fujikawa, Saitama Sakae HS
48 kg - Fuyuko Mimura, Nihon
51 kg - Yu Horiuchi, Amino
55 kg - Akiko Shimizu, Japan Self Defense Forces
59 kg - Rio Watari, Shigakukan HS (Aichi)
63 kg - Ayaka Sato, Igakukan
67 kg - Chiaki Iijima, Abe Gakuin HS (Tokyo)
72 kg - Yuka Masuo, Chukyo Womenfs University


NAGANO (April 26) - Olympic and world champion Saori Yoshida took part in the torch relay for this summerfs Beijing Olympic Games, carrying the torch in Nagano as the eventfs 11th runner.
Yoshida completed her leg of about 250 meters without trouble, even though there was an attempt to disrupt the relay in the interval prior to Yoshidafs run
gI was a little nervous carrying the torch (because of the incident before), but I could relax when I got to the end without incident,h Yoshida told reporters.


TOKYO (April 8) - Osamu Saito and Takaharu Asida have been named to the team of officials that will referee the wrestling competition as this summerfs Olympic Games in Beijing, the Japan Wrestling Federation reported.

According to a message received by the JWF, Saito and Asada passed their officiating test for the Olympics at the European championships held April 1-6 in Tampere, Finland. It will be the first time that Saito of Sakura Minami high school in Chiba and Asada of Osaka Kogei high school will officiate at an Olympic Games.


TOKYO (April 8) - The broadcast of the Japan Beverage Cup All-Japan Womenfs Championships on April 6 netted a viewership rating of 2.9%, despite its start at 2:20 in the morning.

Nihon Television hailed the results on its website, saying that it was a grather high viewership,h even though Kyoko Hamaguchi had decided to sit out the competition. The website article pointed to the popularity of Saori Yoshida as well as the Icho sisters, Chiharu and Kaori.


TOKYO (April 4) - The Japanese Olympic Committeefs Elite Academy was formally opened with five wrestlers and six table tennis players in the first class of young athletes expected to compete in future Olympic Games for Japan.

Former world champion Shoko Yoshimura, who will be coaching the young female wrestlers, said gWe will make them practice hard so that will become athletes who can compete internationally. At the same time, we want to teach them how to live in general society as when they retire from the mat.