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 20) ? Tatsuhiro Yonemitsu fashioned four wins out of a big wind-up to slick single-leg attack to win a bronze medal at 66kg in men’s freestyle on the opening day of the wrestling world championships.

Yonemitsu defeated Olympic bronze medalist Sushil Kumar (IND) in the bronze medal final at Messecenter Herning as the medals in the first three categories of the championships were awarded. “I was hoping to win gold here, but taking the bronze medal in my first world championships will have to do,” Yonemitsu said.

The gold medal at 66kg went to Mehdi Taghavi Kermani (IRI), who defeated Yonemitsu for the gold medal at the Asian championships in May. Yonemitsu’s lone loss in Herning came at the hands of Rasul Djukaev (RUS) in the quarterfinals.

Also on the first day, Shinichi Yumoto notched a win and a loss to finish 13th at 55kg and Takao Isokawa also recorded a win at 96kg before elimination for 14th overall. Yumoto appeared to be in control of his second match with Rizvan Gadzhiev (BLR), scoring off his first leg attack and apparently adding a second point moments later. Belarus coaches, however, challenged the second exchange and Gadzhiev was awarded two points for exposure after stepping over Yumoto’s second leg attack.

Yumoto never regained his momentum and eventually fell to the 2008 European silver medalist. Gadzhiev, then, lost in the semifinals to dash Yumoto’s hopes for a medal at this year’s world championships.

At 96kg, some confusion occurred in the first round when Mongolia’s entry did not show up for the competition. The brackets were re-paired, leaving most of the wrestlers facing opponents different from the ones they thought they would face. Takao Isokawa ended up gaining a win over Diego Rodrigues (BRA) before falling to American collegiate champion Jake Varner (USA), who had originally been scheduled to be his first-round opponent. Varner’s loss in the quarterfinals, however, signaled Isokawa’s exit from the tourney.

Competition in men’s freestyle continues on the second day of the championships with medals to be handed out in the 60kg, 84kg and 120kg categories.

55kg ? YUMOTO, Shinichi (13th, 32 entries)

R1 ? df. John Pineda (CAN), 2-0 (1-0, 1-0)
Yumoto drags behind for a point in the first period and nudges the Pan American bronze medalist out of bounds after a single-leg attempt in the second.

R2 ? lost to Rizvan Gadzhiev (BLR), 0-2 (2-3, 1-3)
Gadzhiev steps Yumoto’s single-leg attack in the first period and is awarded two points after a video review. The 2008 European silver medalist sews up the match with a single-leg to gut wrench combination. Yumoto was eliminated from medal contention when Gadzhiev lost in the semifinals.

66kg ? YONEMITSU, Tatsuhiro (3rd, 34 entries)

R1 ? bye

R2 ? df. Zhikayr Hovhannisyan (ARM), 2-0 (2-0, 1-0)
Yonemitsu lands on top of a single-leg counter attempt by Hovhannisyan for two points in the first period, then converts a single-leg into a double ankle trap for the winning point in the second.

R3 ? df. Gergo Woller (HUN), 2-0 (1-0, 2-0)
Yonemitsu scores off a low single to the left three times against the European and university world bronze medalist.

QF ? lost to Rasul Djukaev (RUS), 0-2 (0-1=2:04, 1-3)
Yonemitsu drops the first period from the clinch, but roars back with a double-leg takedown to open the second. Djukaev, however, answers back with a double-leg of his own and seals the match with a gut wrench.

r2 ? df. Jung Young-Ho (KOR), 2-0 (3-0, 2-0)
Yonemitsu traps Young on his back with a single-leg to double combination in the first period. He scores a go-behind point and force-out in the second to book his place in the bronze medal finals.

SF ? df. Sushil Kumar (IND), 2-0 (1-0, 4-0)
Yonemitsu counters a single-leg attack with his own single-leg and ends up behind for a point and the first period. Yonemitsu scores with three separate single-leg attacks in the second, including one that placed the Olympic bronze medalist on his back for two points.

96kg ? ISOKAWA, Takao (14th, 30 entries)

R1 ? df. Diego Rodrigues (BRA), 2-0 (2-0, 1-0)
Isokawa scores with a pair of forces out in the first period, and takes the second with a go-behind midway through the period.

R2 ? lost to Jake Varner (USA), 0-2 (0-1, 0-1)
Isokawa gives up a go-behind from a single-leg attack in the first period, and another go-behind off an intended ankle hook and trip back. Isokawa was eliminated when Varner lost in the next round.