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 26) ? National team newcomer Ryutaro Matsumoto made a run for the medals on the penultimate day of the senior wrestling world championships, but fell in the quarterfinals and eventually had to settle for eighth place.

Matsumoto notched a pair of wins early at Messecenter Herning, but stumbled in the 60kg quarterfinals to Olympic bronze medalist Nurbakyt Tengizbayev (KAZ) and was denied a chance to wrestle for the bronze medals when Tengizbayev lost in the semifinals.

Matsumoto replaced Makoto Sasamoto on the Japanese team after the Japanese veteran had appeared in eight straight world and Olympic events beginning with the 2000 Sydney Olympics. Sasamoto, a silver medal winner at the 2007 world championships, also placed eighth in his debut for the Japanese on the world stage.

Also on the penultimate day of the weeklong event, Kazuya Kitamura had Heiki Nabi (EST) in trouble in the first round at 96kg, but could not score in par terre in the third period and had to settle for 27th overall.

At 84kg, Norikatsu Saikawa is unable to score against world bronze medalist Damian Janikowski (POL) in one of the opening matches of the day and is assigned 28th place.

Greco-roman action in the world championships concludes with competition in the final three weight categories, 66kg, 74kg and 120kg.

Men’s Greco-Roman

60kg ? MATSUMOTO, Ryutaro (8th, 36 entries)
R1 ? bye

R2 ? df. Ta Ngoc Tan (VIE) by injury default, 3P=0:00 (0-2, 6-0=1:00)
Matsumoto gives up the first period with on a gut wrench in par terre. He roars back in the second, however, landing on top of an attempted back-arching throw by Ta. After doctors attended to a cut over Ta’s eye, Matsumoto added an arm-drag takedown and exposure points. Before the start of the third period, Ta’s corner signaled the forfeit.

R3 ? df. Artak Harutyunyan (ARM), 2-1 (0-1, 1-0, 6-0=1:25)
Harutyunyan takes the first period and Matsumoto the second on defensive points in par terre. In the third period, Matsumoto cranks Harutyunyan over with a front headlock from the feet for three points, adds a pair of force-outs and a go-behind for the win.

QF ? lost to Nurbakyt Tengizbayev (KAZ), 0-2 (0-4, 0-1)
Tengizbayev scores with a gut wrench in par terre to seal the first period and Matsumoto is unable to answer in the second. Tengizbayev loses in the semifinals, eliminating Matsumoto from medal contention.

84kg ? SAIKAWA, Norikatsu (33 entries)

R1 ? lost to Damian Janikowski (POL), 0-1 (0-1, 0-2)
Scoreless on the feet, Saikawa has first advantage in par terre but cannot turn the junior world bronze medalist. In the second period, Janikowski catches Saikawa’s arm at the start of par terre and quickly converts with a gut wrench. Saikawa is eliminated when Janikowski loses in the third round.

96kg ? KITAMURA, Katsuya (27th, 34 entries)
R1 ? bye

R2 ? lost to Heiki Nabi (EST), 1-2 (1-0, 0-1, 0-1)
Kitamura takes the first period on defense, but gives up the second on a push-out. In the third period, Nabi chooses defense for par terre. The 2006 world champ appears to crawl out of bounds, meaning a point for Kitamura. But, despite a challenge from Japanese coaches, the officiating crew rules that going out was incidental and therefore no point for Kitamura. Nabi defends the closing seconds of the period on his feet and is awarded a defensive point. Kitamura’s chances to wrestle-back for a bronze medal are dashed when Nabi loses in the third round.