To Our Friends in Wrestling Around the world

By William May
(Japan Amateur Wrestling Federation, Public Information Committee


BAKU, Azerbaijan (July 19) – Yasuhiro Inaba fell to local favorite and Beijing Olympian Namik Sevdimov (AZE) in the men’s freestyle 55kg title match as the FILA Gold Grand Prix final came to a close. Inaba advanced strongly through the field at 55kg, but could not break through the defenses of Sevdimov, who won his second GGP title. Inaba took the silver medal and the second place prize money of$5,000 in FILA’s biggest prize money event.

In addition to Inaba’s silver medal, Japan completed the three-day competition with a gold medal in greco-roman (Kohei Hasegawa, 55kg) as well as three gold medals in female wrestling (Makiko Sakamoto, 48kg; Chikako Matsukawa, 55kg; Mio Nishimaki, 63kg) along with a silver and two bronze medals.

Japan’s other entry in men’s freestyle Hiroki Kayamori fell in his first match at 74kg and failed to qualify for the consolation rounds.

Men’s freestyle

55kg – INABA, Yasuhiro (2nd, 17 entries)

R1 – bye

R2 – df. Yaser Khalpour (IRI), 2-0 (2-0, 3-1)
Inaba, reigning world university champion, had little trouble with the 2004 world student winner, countering several leg attacks with short drags to go behind.

R3 – df. Adcham Achilov (UZB), 2-0 (3-0, 2-0)
Inaba, moving in and out with sharp feints, scored with a single-leg and ankle pick along with three spin-behind techniques for an easy win over the 2004 Asia champion.

SF – df. Rizvan Gadshiev (BLR), 2-1 (1-6, 2-1, 2-1)
Inaba gave up a go-behind takedown and two trap-arm gut wrenches in the first period and appeared headed for an early shower against the Olympian from Belarus. Inaba held on to take the second period on last point criteria, then took control in the third with a low single and ankle turn.

F1 – lost to Namik Sevdimov (AZE), 0-2 (0-1, 0-3=2:07)
In a closely contested final, Inaba could find little room to get inside the defending champion’s defenses. After one attempt, Sevdimov, a fifth-place finisher in Beijing, attacks quickly and drives Inaba out of bounds for the lone point of the first period.

Inaba steps up the pressure in the second, but still cannot find room. In one late exchange, Inaba appears to gain a point when both wrestlers fall out of bounds. The officiating crew rules “No point.” In the ensuing clinch, Sevdimov wins the draw and drops Inaba to his back. Japanese officials protest, saying that Sevdimov did not grip correctly, but a video review was inconclusive.


74kg – KAYAMORI, Hiroki (18th, 18 entries)

R1 – bye

R2 – lost to Seifaddin Osmanov (KAZ), 0-2 (0-1, 0-2)
Kayamori could not break through the tight defenses of the 2007 Asia bronze medalist to mount an attack. Kayamori gave up a single-leg in the first period and a double-leg and another single in the second.
(Kayamori eliminated from the competition when Osmanov lost in the next round.)