To Our Friends in Wrestling Around the world

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


PATTAYA, Thailand (May 3) - Chikako Matsukawa notched all three of her victories by fall to claim the women’s 55kg crown on the second day of the Asian championships. Matsukawa’s heroics brightened an otherwise dismal day for Japanese wrestling officials as all three of Japan’s entries in greco-roman made early exits from the competition.

Matsukawa, who has finished second to all-world Saori Yoshida in four of the last five Japanese national championships, won her second Asian championship title, her first since 2006. The 24-year-old Toyama native racked up a 34-0 points advantage against her three opponents before recording falls in the second period of each of her bouts.

Meanwhile, a day after winning a gold medal and two bronze in greco-roman, Japan’s three entries in the heavier weights found little traction to keep the momentum going. Atsushi Nakamura at 120kg was the only Japanese greco-roman entry on the second day of competition to notch a victory, but then fell in a one-sided bout to Masoud Hashemzadeh of Iran, who successfully defended his Asian championship crown.

Nakamura eventually had to settle for seventh place, Japan’s best greco-roman finish for the day.



84kg - SAIKAWA, Norikatsu (11th, 11 entries)

R1 - lost to Lin Ming-hsuan (TPE), 0-2 (0-6, 0-4)
Saikawa can get nothing going against the eventual bronze medal winner, giving up points on throws, in par terre and a force-out. Saikawa was eliminated when Lin lost in the quarterfinals.


96kg - KITAMURA, Katsuya (8th, 10 entries)

R1 - bye

R2 - lost to Anil Kumar (IND), 1-2 (0-1, 5-2, 0-1)
Kitamura gets rolling in the second period with a force-out and gut wrench to near fall. In the third period, Kitamura is deep on a body tackle, but cannot score and gives up a point on a go-behind. Kitamura is eliminated when Kumar loses in the semifinals.


120kg - NAKAMURA, Atsushi (7th, 11 entries)

R1 - df. Chen Wei-lin (TPE) by fall, 2P (0-5, F7-0)
Nakamura gives up a throw right off the whistle, but appears to go behind and then scores with a gut wrench. The mat chairman, however, gives five points for the initial throw and awards the first period to Chen. Japanese coaches challenge, but to no avail. In the second, Nakamura squashes a front headlock by his opponent for the fall.

R2 - lost to Masoud Hashemzadeh (IRI), 0-2 (0-4, 0-7)
Nakamura holds the defending champion scoreless on the feet in the first period, but gets turned twice in par terre. In the second, Nakamura is taken down for three and turned twice to end the period.

r1 - lost to Murat Ramonov (KGZ), 1-2 (0-2, 1-0, 2-3)
Nakamura gives up a gut wrench in the final seconds of the first period and again just at the close of the third period and misses out on a chance to wrestle for a bronze medal.


Women’s freestyle

55kg - MATSUKAWA, Chikako (1st, 10 entries)

R1 - bye

R2 - df. Rani Geeta (IND) by fall, 2P (6-0, F6-0)
Matsukawa rolls up the points against a flexible opponent attempting to attack from the defensive position in the front headlock in the first period. In the second, Geeta attempts a front headlock of her own and Matsukawa lays back presses for the fall.

SF - df. Aiyim Abdildina (KAZ) by fall, 2P (6-0, F4-0)
Matsukawa opens with a double-leg takedown and nearly secures the fall in the first period against last year’s Asian junior silver medalist. In the second, Matsukawa steps outside her opponent’s bodylock and holds for the fall.

F1 - df. Chen Juan (CHN) by fall, 2P (6-0, F6-0)
Matsukawa is tentative in the early going of the first period, but secures arm control a minute into the stanza for a takedown and then quickly converts with exposure points. In the second, Matsukawa spins behind and quickly cranks her Chinese opponent over for her third pin of the day.