To Our Friends in Wrestling Around the world


By William May
(Japan Amateur Wrestling Federation, Public Information Committee
Kyodo World Services, senior sports


HERNING, Denmark (September 27) ? Tsukasa Tsurumaki upset Beijing Olympic champion Manchar Kvirkvelia(GEO), but could advance no further into the 74kg bracket as the senior wrestling world championships came to an end without a greco-roman medal for Japan. Tsurumaki, who already owned a win over Kvirkvelia in 2006, defeated the Georgian veteran in three periods in a first-round match at Messecenter Herning.

The 25-year-old member of Japan’s Self-Defense Forces, however, could not get any further into the bracket, losing in the second round to Evgeny Popov (RUS). Popov subsequently lost in the quarterfinals, ending Tsurumaki’s chances to wrestle back for a bronze medal and leaving him in 12th place overall.

Also for Japan, on a final day of the world championships, Tsutomu Fujimura notched a pair of wins at 66kg, but could not get past defending world champion Farid Mansurov (AZE).

Fujimura, wrestling in his first world championships, finished in eighth place to equal Ryutaro Matsumoto for the best finish for Japan in this year’s world championships.

At 120kg, Hiroshi Shinjo lost in the first round to 2007 Asia bronze medalist Nurbek Ibragimov (KGZ) and finished 24th.

In the team rankings, Japan finished in a tie for 21st with six points. Turkey won the team championship with two champions, a bronze medalist and 44 points, followed by Iran (39 points, 1 champion) and Azerbaijan (38, 1).

Men’s Greco-Roman

66kg ? FUJIMURA, Tsutomu (8th, 40 entries)
R1 ? df. Sylwester Charzewski (POL), 2-1 (2-3, 3-0, 3-0)
Fujimura steps over Charzewski’s attempts for a gut wrench in the second and third periods to come from behind and advance to the second round.

R2 ? lost to Farid Mansurov (AZE), 0-2 (0-1, 0-2)
Fujimura drops the first period on an arm-drag takedown by Mansurov. In the second, Fujimura lifts the defending champion with a reverse waist lock, but Mansurov escapes around behind. Japanese coaches challenge, arguing that Mansurov hooked the legs, but were denied after the video review.

r1 ? df. Ismael Navarro Sanchez (ESP), 2-0 (1-0, 6-0)
Fujimura defends for a point in the first period, then executes a pair of lifts with turns for the second.

r2 ? lost to Sasun Ghambaryan (ARM), 0-2 (0-1, 1-3)
Fujimura gives up on a defensive point in the first period, then loses the second when he gets tossed to his back from the front headlock position.

74kg ? TSURUMAKI, Tsukasa (12th, 36 entries)
R1 ? bye

R2 ? df. Manuchar Kvirkvelia (GEO), 2-1 (0-3, 3-0, 1-0)
Tsurumaki surrenders the first period when Kvirkvelia steps over his gut wrench. Tsurumaki comes back with an arm throw for three points to take the second. In the third period, Tsurumaki gets the choice in par terre against the Olympic champ. He manages to keep his stomach to the mat during one turn and one lift to claim the deciding point and win.

R3 ? lost to Evgeny Popov (RUS), 1-2 (2-0, 0-2, 0-1)
Tsurumaki takes the first period with a trap-arm turn for exposure and Popov equalizes with a quick gut wrench in the second. In the third period, both wrestlers battle evenly on the feet and Tsurumaki is forced to take the top position in par terre. Popov defends for the winning point. Popov lost in the quarterfinals, dashing Tsurumaki’s hopes for a medal at the world championships.

120kg ? SHINJO, Hiroshi (24th, 30 entries)
R1 ? lost to Nurbek Ibragimov (KGZ), 0-2 (0-1, 0-2)
Shinjo, in red, cannot turn the 2007 Asian bronze medalist in the first period, then gives up a gut wrench in the second.