To Our Friends in Wrestling Around the world

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


JEJU, Korea (March 18) - Noriyuki Takatsuka
(right photo)defeated 2006 world champion Mohammadi Pahne Seyedmorad of Iran in the semifinals, but lost in the final second of the 60-kg freestyle final of the Asian championships and missed his chance to qualify for this summer’s Olympic Games in Beijing. Takatsuka, a world bronze medalist in 2006, scored from the clinch in the first period and notched a force-out point in the second to defeat Seyedmorad 1-0, 1-0 in the semifinals at 60 kg.

Takatsuka, however, gave up a duck-under point to India’s Yogeshwar Dutt in the final seconds of their championship match to lose on last-point criteria, 3-0, 1-4, 1-1. Dutt secured the ticket to the Beijing Olympics for India at 60 kg, while Japan will have two more chances at the freestyle Olympic trials next month in Switzerland and Poland.

Meanwhile, on the opening day of the championships, Kazuyuki Nagashima fell in the second round to 2002 Asian Games champion Cho Byung-Kwan of Korea, but came back to claim a bronze medal at 74 kg. Cho defeated Mostafa Joukar Meisam of Iran in the 74-kg final for the gold medal to become Asia’s first freestyler Olympic qualifier at this weight.

At 96 kg, Takao Isokawa lost in the second round to world bronze medalist Kurban Kurbanov of Uzbekistan and did not qualify for a chance at the medals. Kurbanov defeated Moradi Amir Abbas of Iran for the gold medal, while Daulet Shabanbay of Kazakhstan defeated Korea’s Koo Tae-Hyun in a third-place wrestle-off for the ticket to Beijing. Uzbekistan and Iran qualified for the Olympics at last year’s world championships.

Results of bouts involving Japanese entries:

Men’s freestyle

60 kg - TAKATSUKA, Noriyuki (2nd, 15 entries)

1R - df. Shan Chengde (CHN), 2-0 (4-0, 3-0)

Takatsuka rolls up five points on force-outs in a one-sided win.

2R - df. Sukhbaatar Sengodorj (MGL), 2-0 (3-1, 2-0)

Takatsuka broke a 1-1 tie in the first period with a force-out at 1:27 and added a go-behind counter at the end. Two force-outs in the second were enough to defeat the 2006 Asian bronze medalist.

SF - df. Mohammadi Pahne Seyedmorad (IRI), 2-0 (1-0=2:01, 1-0)

Takatsuka won the draw at end of a scoreless first period and promptly took the former world champion down for the tie-break point. In the second, Takatsuka forced Seyedmorad to the edge of the mat at 1:25 and got the force-out point even though the Iranian appeared to score with a counter throw.

F1 - lost to Yogeshwar Dutt (IND), 1-2 (3-0, 1-4, 1-1x=last point)

Takatsuka cruised to a first period win with unrelenting pressure, but was confused in the second by the Commonwealth Games champion unorthodox attacks and counters.

In the decisive third period, neither wrestler could get the advantage. Takatsuka scored with an ankle pick with 12 seconds remaining, but Dutt snatched away the ticket to Beijing with a duck under and go behind in the closing seconds.

74 kg - NAGASHIMA, Kazuyuki (3rd, 11 entries)

1R - df. Ramze Salah Almarafi (JOR) by fall, 2P=1:16 (4-0, 4-0)

Nagashima scored with a pair of fireman’s carries, making the second one stick for the fall.

R2 - lost to Cho Byung-Kwan (KOR), 0-2 (0-1, 0-1=2:05)

Nagashima dropped a point in the final five seconds of the first period and then lost the draw and the decisive point after a scoreless second period.

r1 - df. Soslan Tigiev (UZB), 2-0 (2-1, 6-4)

In a seesaw battle, Nagashima defeated the 2006 world bronze medalist with a late takedown in the first period and two cross-ankle turns to come from behind in the second.

F3 - df. Abdulkhakim Shapiyev (KAZ), 2-1 (2-1 0-1, 4x-4=last point)

Nagashima gave up a pair of low-single takedowns in the first two periods, but managed to stay even at a period apiece. In a wild third period, Nagashima lost the lead twice, but scored with a force-out at 1:51 to win on last-point criteria.

96 kg - ISOKAWA, Takao (did not place, 10 entries)

R1 - df. Burenbaatar Narantsetseg (MGL), 2-1 (4-1, 1-5, 1x-1=last point)

After trading one-sided periods, Isokawa fell behind with a takedown midway through the third period, but scratched out a go-behind point in the final 10 seconds for the win.

R2 - lost to Kurban Kurbanov (UZB), 0-2 (0-3, 0-7=1:12)

Isokawa surrendered a late takedown and gut wrench in hard fought first period, but was turned over with three straight gut wrenches, as the world bronze medalist brought the second period to a quick end.

r1 - lost to Daulet Shabanbay (KAZ) by technical fall, 0-2 (0-6=1:03, 0-7=0:47)

Isokawa’s troubles defending against the gut wrench continued in the wrestle-backs, as the unheralded Kazakh wrestler scored a technical fall on the strength of four gut wrenches.