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 24) ? Kohei Hasegawa kicks off the greco-roman competition for Japan at the wrestling world championships as the women’s events wrap up with matches at 67kg and 72kg.

Hasegawa, undefeated in international competition this year, has won four international titles at 55kg this year, including the Asia crown and Golden Grand Prix. The field at Messecenter Herning, however, is packed with Olympians and medal winners from this year’s continental championships.

Hasegawa opens with young Italian Nicola Caradonna and shares his half of the 36-man bracket with European bronze medal winners Aleksandar Kostadinov (BUL), Bekhan Mankiev (RUS) and Olympic silver medalist Rovshan Bayramov (AZE).

Mankiev, who won the 55kg title at this year’s World Cup, is the younger brother of Olympic champion Nazir Mankiev.

From the opposite side of the bracket, glares three-time defending world champion Hamid Soryan Reihanpour (IRI) who returns to major competition after a disappointing fifth place finish in the Beijing Olympics.

In the women’s events, Martine Dugrenier (CAN) will seek to defend the world title she won at 67kg in Tokyo last fall after three straight silver medals from 2005 to 2007.

European champion Katerina Burmistrova (UKR) sits in the bottom quarter of the bracket with Dugrenier and Golden Grand Prix winner Zumrud Kurbangajieva (AZE).

Japan’s Yoshiko Inoue, a bronze medalist at this year’s Asia championships and former junior world champion, opens with Aline Ferreira (BRA), a bronze medal winner at the Pan American championships.

At 72kg, Stanka Zlateva (BUL) will be seeking a fourth straight world title and may well face her toughest opponent in the opening round when she squares off with Ali Bernard (USA), a fifth place finisher in Beijing.

Japan’s Asuka Sano was runner-up at the Asia championships in May and finds herself paired with Dina Ivanova (AZE), who was eighth in Europe.

Alena Perepelkina (RUS), a world bronze medalist in 2006, stands out in the top half of the bracket.

Women’s freestyle

67kg ? INOUE, Yoshiko (21 entries)
R1 ? Aline Ferreira (BRA)

72kg ? SANO, Asuka (21 entries)
R1 ? Dina Ivanova (AZE)

Men’s Greco-Roman
55kg ? HASEGAWA, Kohei (36 entries)
R1 ? bye
R2 ? Nicola Caradonna (ITA)