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 25) ? Three Olympic champs take to the mats for Russia on the penultimate day of the senior wrestling world championships in Herning.

Islam-Beka Albiev (RUS) is the Beijing Olympics gold medalist at 60kg, while Aslanbek Khushtov (RUS) also won in China last summer at96kg. Alexej Mishin (RUS), meanwhile, was the 84kg gold medalist at the 2004 Athens Olympics. Albiev, also this year’s European champion, stands out in a field at Messecenter Herning crowded with Olympic, world and continen al medal winners.

Albiev is joined by Olympic silver medalist Vitaly Rahimov (AZE) as well as bronze medal winners in Beijing, Ruslan Tumenbaev (KGZ) and Nurbakyt Tengizbayev (KAZ).

Japanese world team newcomer Ryutaro Matsumoto (JPN) steps in for Makoto Sasamoto, who has represented Japan at the Olympics and world championships for more than a decade at 58kg and 60kg. Matsumoto opens with Ta Ngoc Tan (VIE) but finds his quarter of the bracket swarming with bronze medal winners ? Tengizbayev from Beijing, Eusebiu Diaconu (ROU) at the European championships and Jung Kyung-Ho (KOR) in Asia.

At 84kg, Mishin, also a European champion this spring, will be seeking a second world title to go with his 2007 triumph in Baku. Olympic silver medalist Zoltan Fodor (HUN) and bronze medalist Nazmi Avluca(TUR) will be wrestling from the bottom half of the bracket. Japan’s Norikatsu Saikawa, also new to the world team, squares off with junior world bronze medalist Damian Janikowski (POL).

Khushtov, winner of the last two European championships at 96kg, appears to be the class of the field but he will face an early challenge from 2007 world champion Ramaz Nozadze (GEO). On the opposite side of the bracket, Japan’s Katsuya Kitamura will begin with 2006 world champion Heiki Nabi (EST). Nabi finished seventh at the European championships in Vilnius this spring. Kitamura will be wrestling in his second world championships after representing Japan in freestyle at the 2006 meet in Guanzhou, China.

Men’s Greco-Roman

60kg ? MATSUMOTO, Ryutaro (36 entries)
R1 ? bye
R2 ? Ta Ngoc Tan (VIE)

84kg ? SAIKAWA, Norikatsu (33 entries)
R1 ? Damian Janikowski (POL)

96kg ? KITAMURA, Katsuya (34 entries)
R1 ? bye
R2 ? Heiki Nabi (EST)