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) ? Japan lost the women’s team title at the world wrestling championships for the first time since 2001 as the women’s events ended and greco-roman got under way.

Former junior world champion Yoshiko Inoue advanced to the semifinals at 67kg but lost back-to-back matches and had to settle for fifth place overall at Messecenter Herning.

Meanwhile, Japanese heavyweight Asuka Sano, trying to step into the big shoes left behind by five-time world champ Kyoko Hamaguchi, lost her first match at 72kg and had to settle for 13th place.

In greco-roman, Kosei Hasegawa notched an impressive second-round win over World Cup champion Bekhan Mankiev (RUS), younger brother to Nazir Mankiev (RUS), but then slipped up in the quarterfinals to Virgil Munteanu (ROU).

Hasegawa, who had won titles at the Asian championships and Golden Grand Prix final, slumped to an 11th place finish.

Japan entered the final day of the women’s competition trailing Azerbaijan by four points, but three wins by Inoue and early losses by the Azerbaijani entries raised Japanese hopes for a come-from-behind victory.

In the semifinals, Inoue had Martine Dugrenier (CAN) on the ropes with a double-leg attack midway through the third period. Inoue, however, could not convert for points and the defending world champ answered back with her own double-leg for the winning point.

Then, in the match for third place, Inoue could not complete her attacks against the defensive positioning of Odonchimeg Badrakh (MGL) and slumped into fifth place.

Japan finished the women’s competition with two gold medals and one bronze for 37 points and second place behind Azerbaijan with 42 points. Canada also finished with 37 points, but was assigned third place on criteria.

Women’s freestyle

67kg ? INOUE, Yoshiko (5th, 21 entries)

R1 ? df. Aline Ferreira (BRA), 2-0 (3-0, 6-0=1:00)
Inoue locks up for an ankle turn after a single-leg takedown and turns for a pair of points in the first period. Inoue takes another single-leg in the second, scores and nearfall and ends with an ankle turn for two.

R2 ? df. Olga Zhanibekova (KAZ), 2-0 (1-0, 1-0)
Inoue gets a force-out point in the first period, then slips behind a headlock attempt by the 2007 world bronze medalist in the second.

QF ? df. Maher Doaa (EGY), 2-0 (3-0, 1-0)
Inoue gets behind and converts with a gut wrench in the first period, then executes a little hip throw to force the Africa champion out of bounds.

SF ? lost to Martine Dugrenier (CAN), 1-2 (0-1, 3-1, 0-1)
Inoue gives up a force-out point in the first period, but comes back with a double-leg takedown and tilt in the second.

In the third, Inoue is deep on a single midway through the period but cannot finish then surrenders a double-leg with 15 seconds remaining.

F3 ? lost to Odonchimeg Badrakh (MGL), 0-2 (1-2, 0-1=2:30)
Inoue falls behind early in the first period with a counter throw by Odonchimeg, a fellow bronze medalist at the Asian championships in May. In the second period, Inoue keeps the pressure but cannot score. Even with the clinch, Inoue cannot get the point she needs.

72kg ? SANO, Asuka (13th, 21 entries)

R1 ? lost to Dina Ivanova (AZE), 2-0 (0-1=2:02, 1-1x=last)
Ivanova takes the first period from the clinch, hoisting Sano out of bounds. Sano opens the second with knee pick takedown, but Ivanova answers back with double-leg to force out at 1:28. Sano attempts a pair of double-legs in the final 30 seconds

Sano is eliminated from medal contention when Ivanova loses in the second round to Qin Xiaoqing (CHN).

Men’s Greco-Roman

55kg ? HASEGAWA, Kohei (11th, 36 entries)

R1 ? bye

R2 ? df. Nicola Caradonna (ITA), 2-0 (1-0, 5-0)
Hasegawa, in red, scores with a gut wrench after a scoreless 90 seconds on the feet in the first period. In the second, Hasegawa drags behind for a point and adds a lift and gut wrench, then in par terre, scores with another pair of gut wrenches.

R3 ? df. Bekhan Mankiev (RUS), 2-1 (0-4, 1-0, 3-0)
Mankiev steps over a gut wrench attempt by Hasegawa in the first period, but Hasegawa defends in par terre in the second to force a third.

In the third period, Hasegawa fights off a hiplock by Mankiev and gains control for a point. He then catches the World Cup champ on his back during a switch attempt for some insurance points.

QF ? lost to Virgil Munteanu (ROU), 0-2 (0-2, 0-1)
Hasegawa, in blue, gets turned in par terre with a reverse waistlock, then cannot score in par terre against the 2008 European bronze medalist in the second. Munteanu loses in the semifinals, ending Hasegawa’s medal hopes.