To Our Friends in Wrestling Around the world
By William May
（Japan Amateur Wrestling Federation, Public Information Committee
March wrestling news
YOSHIMURA TO JOIN INT’L WRESTLING HALL OF FAME
TOKYO (March 12) - Five-time world champion Shoko Yoshimura has been selected for induction to the FILA international wrestling Hall of Fame, joining Yayoi Odagaki (nee, Urano) as the second Japanese woman to be inducted into the Hall. Yoshimura will also be the seventh Japanese wrestler to join the FILA Hall of Fame.
“When I started wrestling (in the mid-1980s), I wanted to be the first (Japanese) world champion. And, if there was a chance to go the Olympics, I wanted to go to the Olympics,” Yoshimura said. “But I never imagined that I would be in the Hall of Fame. This is like a dream.”
Yoshimura was a pioneer in Japanese women’s wrestling, winning a bronze medal at 44kg in the first women’s world championships in 1987 and becoming Japan’s first world champion at the second world meet in 1989. In all, Yoshimura made 10 appearances in the world championships, winning nine medals -- five gold, a silver and three bronze.
Yoshimura currently coaches young wrestlers at the national training center and most recently accompanied a Japanese cadet selection team to the Klippan women’s international team in Sweden. Yoshimura will be presented her Hall of Fame plaque at the world championships in Denmark in September.
Japan’s previous inductees into the Hall of Fame are Yuji Takada, Yojiro Obata (Uetake), Shozo Sasahara, Masaaki Kaneko, Odagaki, and Hideaki Tomiyama.
Previous female inductees are Christine Nordhagen-Vierling of Canada, Odagaki, Zhong Xiue and Liu Dongfeng, both of China.
JAPAN CROWNS 4 IN KLIPPAN WOMEN’S INT’L
KLIPPAN, Sweden (March 6-7) - Four Japanese girls claimed championships in the cadet competition at the Klippan women’s international wrestling tournament.
The winners were Eri Tosaka (43kg, Toyama), Yu Miyahara (46kg, Tokyo), Arisa Tanaka (52kg, Saitama) and Sara Dosho (65kg, Mie). Miyahara’s title was a repeat performance of her triumph at 38kg last year. Also for Japan, Chinami Abe (49kg, Aichi), Yui Sakano (52kg, Osaka), Yuki Kato (56kg, Tokyo) earned silver medals while Rina Okuno (40kg, Mie), Nachi Masuda (49kg, Osaka), Hikari Sugawara (60kg, Mie) and Chihiro Hashimoto (70kg, Tokyo) brought home bronze medals.
The Japanese squad also won team honors with 37 points, well ahead of second-place Russia with 21 points.
In a warm-up dual meet with hosts Sweden on March 8, the Japanese cadets on eight of nine matches.
FUKUDA, TAKADA RE-ELECTED TO JWF TOP POSTS
TOKYO (March 14) - Tomiaki Fukuda and Yuji Takada were returned to the top posts in the Japan Wrestling Federation at a meeting of the JWF board of directors and council in Tokyo.
Fukuda was returned for a fourth two-year term as JWF president, while Takada will begin a fourth term as the JWF chairman of the board of the directors. The new terms begin on April 1.
JOC ADDS 3 NEW WRESTLERS, NEW COACH TO ELITE ACADEMY PROGRAM
TOKYO (March 16) - The Elite Academy of the Japanese Olympic Committee (JOC) added three wrestlers and a former world champion as new coach to its program for promising young athletes at the National Training Center (NTC). Masaki Eto, greco-roman world champion in 1983, steps in for Toshiro Yui, who resigned as coach for the young wrestlers.
Taro Sawa from the Suita wrestling club in Osaka was the winner of the national schoolboy crown for seven straight years while Haruyo Kimura of Aomori was a four-time winner in the schoolgirl championships. Kanako Murata of Ehime, meanwhile, was a winner in the girl’s national middle school championships.
Sawa and Kimura will attend a junior high school near the (NTC) while Murata will attend nearby Abe Gakuin high school. All three will live at the NTC where specialists and staff will oversee their training, diet and everyday affairs in their quest to become world-class athletes.
The Elite Academy program was inaugurated last year athletes in wrestling and table tennis. This year athletes in fencing will be added to the program.
KASUMIGAURA NEAR PERFECT TO WIN HIGH SCHOOL INVITATIONAL CROWN
NIIGATA (March 27-28) - Kasumigaura high school of Ibaraki prefecture lost only one individual bout on its way winning its 17th overall national high school invitational wrestling team title.
Kasumigaura won four of its five duals in the team competition by 7-0 marks with the lone blemish at Niigata municipal gymnasium coming in a 6-1 win over Kanoya Chuo high school from Kagoshima in the semifinals. The Ibaraki powerhouse, however, roared back for a 7-0 drubbing of Tamana Kogyo of Kumamoto in the final to reclaim the team title they last won two years ago.
“The wrestlers scored a perfect 100 out of 100 today,” Kasumigaura head coach Tomohiro Osawa said. “This was the result of their really hard work in practice.”
Kanoya Chuo and Yawatahama Kogyo of Ehime prefecture took home the third-pace trophies. Last year’s team champion Kyoto Hachiman fell in the regional qualifying tourney, leaving the invitational without a defending champion.
KITAMURA KICKS OFF BID FOR 5 MORE HS TITLES WITH INVITATIONAL CROWN
NIIGATA (March 28-29) - Kohei Kitamura of Kyoto Yahaata high school kicked off his bid to repeat last year’s feat of winning all five national high school and junior/cadet titles with his second triumph at the national high school invitational championships. Kitamura won the 74kg crown without giving up a point at Niigata municipal gymnasium.
Last year, Kitamura won the invitational crown along with the national freestyle and greco-roman high school championships, the national sports festival title and the national cadet championship.
Team champion Kasumigaura of Ibaraki crowned two individual champions with Fumitaka Morishita (55kg) and Koyu Isokawa (66kg) while Hanabuki Tokuei of Saitama also claimed a pair of champions in Shotaro Hosoya (84kg) and Rinno Oka (120kg). Tatsuya Kondo of Yawatahama Kogyo triumphed at 60kg to become the first wrestler from a high school in Ehime prefecture to win an invitational title.
50kg - Kodai Nishi, Amino (Kyoto)
55kg - Fumitaka Morishita, Kasumigaura (Ibaraki)
60kg - Tatsuya Kondo, Yawatahama Kogyo (Ehime)
66kg - Koyu Sunagawa, Kasumigaura
74kg - Kohei Kitamura, Kyoto Hachiman
84kg - Shotaro Hosoya, Hanabuki Tokuei (Saitama)
96kg - Takahiro Baba, Shimabara (Nagasaki)
120kg - Tomoyuki Oka, Hanabuki Tokuei