To Our Friends in Wrestling Around the world

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

February wrestling news


ANKARA, Turkey (February 7-8) - Newly crowned national champion Shinichi Yumoto stopped Japanese rival Yasuhiro Inaba in the championship final to claim the 55kg crown at the Yasar Dogu International freestyle wrestling tournament.

Yumoto, the twin brother of Beijing Olympic bronze medalist Kenichi Yumoto, stopped world university champ Inaba 2-1 for the win. Inaba had earlier defeated 2007 world runner-up Naranbaatar Bayaraa of Mongolia in the quarterfinals.

Meanwhile, Tatsuhiro Yonemitsu, also a winner at last year’s world university meet, notched five wins at 66kg to win.

55kg - YUMOTO, Shinichi (1st, 33 entries)
R1 - df. Elsan Mirzayen (AZE), 2-0 (2-0, 2-1)
R2 - df. Ceyhan Aliyev (AZE), 2-0 (1-0, 1-0)
R3 - df. T. Davaaknuyag (MGL), 2-0 (3-1, 7-0)
SF - df. John Pineda (CAN), 2-0 (4-0, 4-0)
F1 - df. Yasuhiro Inaba (JPN), 2-1 (2-0, 0-6, 1-0)

55kg - INABA, Yasuhiro (2nd, 33 entries)
R1 - df. Vladislav Andreev (BLR), 2-1 (0-6, 2-2, 5-3)
R2 - df. Mahmut Bayoglu (TUR), 2-0 (1-0, 4-0)
R3 - df. Naranbaatar Bayaraa (MGL), 2-0 (1-0, 1-0)
SF - df. Yerkebala Turganbayev (KAZ), 2-0 (2-1, 2-0)
F1 - lost to Shinichi Yumoto (JPN), 1-2 (0-2, 6-0, 0-1)

60kg - MAEDA, Shogo (dnp, 26 entries)
R1 - bye
R2 - lost to Bahram Ermatov (UZB), 1-2 (1-0, 2-2, 0-7)

60kg - ODATE, Shinya (dnp, 26 entries)
R1 - lost to Emre Ayvaz (TUR), 1-2

66kg - YONEMITSU, Tatsuhiro (1st, 30 entries)
R1 - df. Yusuf Beneku (TUR), 2-0 (3-0, 4-2)
R2 - df. Ishan Capas (TUR), 2-0 (2-0, 4-0)
R3 - df. Haislan Garcia (CAN), 2-0 (1-0, 1-0)
SF - df. Unurbatov (MGL), 2-0 (3-1, 4-2)
F1 - df. Okay Koksal (TUR), 2-0 (1-0, 6-0)

66kg - MORIKAWA, Kazuki (dnp, 30 entries)
R1 - df. Yasin Bolat (TUR), 2-0 (1-0, 5-0)
R2 - lost to Okay Koksal (TUR), 0-2 (0-1, 0-1)
r1 - lost to Pavel Hrybailau (BLR), 0-2 (0-2, 0-1)

74kg - NAGASHIMA, Kazuyuki (dnp, 36 entries)
R1 - bye
R2 - lost to Batuhan Demircin (TUR), 0-2 (2-3, 0-3)

74kg - KAYAMORI, Hiroki (dnp, 36 entries)
R1 - bye
R2 - lost to Seifudin Osmanov (KAZ), 0-2 (1-1, 0-2)


COLORADO SPRINGS, Colorado (February 6-8) - Japanese collegiate national champion Yasuhiro Morita (photo) rebounded from a early loss to win four straight matches and claim a third place at the Dave Schultz Memorial International wrestling tournament. Morita of Nippon Sports Science University won Japan’s only medal of the three-day competition in freestyle at 55kg.

Morita’s NSSU teammate Atsushi Matsumoto advanced to the bronze medal match at 84kg, but fell to former Nebraska University stand-out Travis Pascoe and had to settle for fourth place.

The Japanese collegiate select squad got fifth-place performances from Senshu University heavyweights, Shinichi Hirakawa in greco-roman and Nobuyoshi Arakida in freestyle as well as NSSU greco flyweight Tsubasa Ogata.

Results of Japanese entries with school, rankings and won-lost record:

55kg -Tsubasa Ogata, NSSU (5th, 9 entries; 2 wins, 2 losses)
66kg - Kazuki Taniguchi, NSSU (did not place, 13 entries; 0-2)
74kg - Shinichi Nakai, Chuo (dnp, 18 entries; 1-2)
84kg - Shinnosuke Omagari, Aoyama Gakuin (dnp, 13 entries; 0-2)
96kg - Yusuke Yamamoto, Yamanashi Gakuin (dnp, 7 entries; 0-2)
120kg - Shinichi Hirakawa, Senshu (5th, 7 entries; 1-2)
120kg - Hiroaki Takayama, Nihon Bunri (dnp, 7 entries; 0-2)

55kg - Yasuhiro Morita, NSSU (3rd, 12 entries; 4-1)
60kg - Kota Horaguchi, NSSU (dnp, 17 entries; 0-2)
60kg - Kei Matsumoto, Waseda (dnp, 17 entries; 1-2)
66kg - Tomotsugu Ishida, Waseda (dnp, 13 entries; 0-2)
66kg - Shota Shidochi, NSSU (dnp, 13 entries; 0-2)
74kg - Yoshiaki Narabu, YGU (6th, 17 entries; 2-3)
74kg - Manabu Kamada, Chuo Gakuin (dnp, 17 entries; 0-2)
84kg - Atsushi Matsumoto, NSSU (4th, 16 entries; 4-2)
96kg - Yoshitaka Shimoyashiki, NSSU (dnp, 9 entries; 0-2)
120 - Nobuyoshi Arakida, Senshu (5th, 6 entries; 1-4)


CALGARY, Canada (February 1) - Japanese wrestlers won seven gold medals, three silver and a bronze at the Nordhagen Junior Classic and 59kg champion Shiori Tateko of Tokyo’s Abe Gakuin high school was named the outstanding foreign wrestler of the competition on January 31.

Other champions were Miori Suzuki (Abe Gakuin, 44kg), Mika Naganuma (Gifu Kogyo high school, 48kg), Yuki Ikegame (Saitama Sakae high school, 51kg), Miyuki Shimada (Aomori Shogyo high school, 55kg), Kasumi Utada (Abe Gakuin, 63kg) and Chiaki Iijima (Abe Gakuin, 67kg).

Silver medals were won by Eri Koyanagi (Abe Gakuin, 44kg), Haruka Hirano (Abe Gakuin, 51kg) and Akane Kinoshita (Saitama Sakae, 55kg). Miyuki Kaga of Hanabuchi Tokuei high school in Saitama snared a bronze medal at 44kg.

There were no entries at 72kg.


CALGARY, Canada (February 2) - Mika Naganuma won her second title in as many days and Akane Kinoshita improved on her second place a day earlier as both wrestlers claimed crowns at the Calgary Open senior wrestling tournament.

Naganuma of Gifu Kogyo high school in central Japan reprised her championship run at 48kg in the Nordhagen Junior Classic a day earlier, defeating teammate Eri Koyanagi for the Calgary Open crown. Koyanagi of Tokyo’s Abe Gakuin high school was also the silver medalist at 44kg in the Nordhagen tourney.

Kinoshita of Saitama Sakae high school near Tokyo improved on her silver medal in the junior meet, taking the 55kg senior title with a win over local favorite Andrea Ross.

Silver medals also went to Seika Yoshimoto (Kitakyushu high school, 59kg) and Kasumi Utada (Abe Gakuin, 63kg). The young Japanese squad also took four bronze medals in the senior competition.

Meanwhile, Beijing Olympic gold medalist at 48kg Carol Huynh won the 51kg crown, defeating two Japanese wrestlers on her way to the finals.


TOKYO (February 19) - The Japan Wrestling Federation has decided its line-up for the World Cup of women’s wrestling to be held in Taiyuan, China on March 20-21.

The competition will be expanded to eight teams this year from the previous six. The teams competing this year will be Japan, China, Belarus, Canada, the United States, Mongolia, Russia and Ukraine.

The women’s World Cup was inaugurated in 2001 with Japan winning five of the first six meetings. China has won the last two championships in 2007 and 2008.

The Japanese line-up will be:

48kg - Fuyuko Mimura, Nihon University
51kg - Yu Horiuchi, Amino (Kyoto) high school
55kg - Chikako Matsukawa, Japan Beverage
Saori Yoshida, ALSOK Sogo Keibi Security
59kg - Kei Yamana, Chukyo Women’s University
63kg - Mio Nishimaki, CWU
69kg - Yoshiko Inoue, CWU
72kg - Asuka Sano, Japan Self-Defense Forces


TOKYO (February 20) - The head coach of the Japan Beverage company wrestling team revealed that five-time world champion Kyoko Hamaguchi will me the All-Japan Women’s Wrestling Championships in April.

Ryo Kanahama explained that Hamaguchi took about two months off after the world championships in Tokyo last October and only returned to training after the New Year holidays. He added that while Hamaguchi is nearing her level prior to last year’s Olympics, she is not ready to give 100 percent for the all-Japan women’s meet and the world championships in September.

Kanahama said that Hamaguchi had been following the same training cycle the last 15 years, adding that it was time for her to consider a new approach. Hamaguchi will continue training and is considering entering some events overseas as a check to see where her level of training is.