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By William May
(Japan Amateur Wrestling Federation, Public Information Committee:wmay52@hotmail.com

   April wrestling news

TOKYO (April 9) – Eight All-Japan champions lead the men and two defending champs head up the women's squad at the Asian wrestling championships in New Delhi, May 12-16.

The Japan Wrestling Federation decided to send its top-of-the-line wrestlers in the three heaviest weight categories in men's freestyle and greco-roman, along with All-Japan winners Kazuyuki Nagashima (FS, 74kg) and Hiroyuki Shimizu (GR, 66kg).

Meanwhile, Chikako Matsukawa (55kg) and Yurika Ito (59kg) will seek to repeat their success from last year's meet in Thailand when the Japanese team takes to the mats at Indira Ghandi Sports Complex.

Four-time world champion Seiko Yamamoto, a winner at the prestigious Yarygin Grand Prix meet in January, will also join the young Japanese women's squad at 63kg.

The Japanese line-up for New Delhi:

Men's freestyle
55kg – Shinichi Yumoto, Japan Self Defense Forces
60kg – Shogo Maeda, New Gin wrestling club
66kg – Tsukasa Sato, ALSOK security company
74kg – Kazuyuki Nagashima, Clean-up wrestling club
84kg – Shinya Matsumoto, Tokyo Metropolitan Police Department
96kg – Takao Isokawa, Tokuyama University staff
120kg – Takahiro Shimonaka, Kokushikan University club

55kg – Ryo Minemura, Kanagawa University staff
60kg – Kazuki Kuramoto, Japan SDF
66kg – Hiroyuki Shimizu, Japan SDF
74kg – Kosuke Kaku, Japan SDF
84kg – Norikatsu Saikawa, Ryomo Yakult sales
96kg – Katsuya Kitamura, FEG wrestling club
120kg – Hirokazu Shinjo, Japan SDF

Women's freestyle
48kg – Fuyuko Mimura, Nihon University
51kg – Hiromi Sakurai, Yoyogi club
55kg – Chikako Matsukawa, Japan Beverage wrestling club
59kg – Yurika Ito, International Pacific Rim University
63kg – Seiko Yamamoto, Sports Bee
67kg – Chiaki Iijima, NU
72kg – Yoshiko Inoue, Shigakkan University
(Note: Shigakkan University is the new name for Chukyo Women's University.)


YOKOHAMA (April 24-25) – Yukitaro Tanaka won for a second straight year and was named the winner of the JOC Cup as the outstanding wrestler of the junior national championships at Yokohama Bunka Gymnasium.

Tanaka, who won in freestyle 66kg after a title at 60kg in 2009, was joined by three teammates from Waseda University -- Koki Tonomura (FS, 84kg), Kazuhiro Hanayama (GR, 66kg) and Ko Osaka (GR, 96kg) – in the winner's circle.

Meanwhile, Kanako Murata of the Japanese Olympic Committee's elite athlete academy defeated Asia champion Yurika Ito for the women's title at 59kg. A former judoka, Murata joined the academy one year ago and claimed her first wrestling prize.

Yu Horiuchi, the defending champion at 51kg, moved up to 55kg to win her third straight junior national title and seventh straight JOC Cup title beginning as a cadet.

Winners at each weight category:

Men's freestyle
50kg – Tatsuma Yamazaki, Hiryu high school (Shizuoka)
55kg – Tadahira Yago, Nihon University
60kg – Yasuhiro Suzuki, Takushoku University
66kg – Yukitaro Tanaka, Waseda University
74kg – Ken Karamushizawa, Kokushikan University
84kg – Koki Tonomura, Waseda
96kg – Takahiro Baba, Senshu University
120kg – Hiroyuki Oka, Nihon

50kg – Seiki Goya, Nihon Bunri University
55kg – Seiki Aoki, Aoyama Gakuin University
60kg – Yuto Kawamura, Kokushikan
66kg – Kazuhiro Hanayama, Waseda
74kg – Tsubasa Fukuda, Takushoku
84kg – Toru Yokosawa, Takushoku
96kg – Ko Osaka, Waseda
120kg – Katsutoshi Maekawa, Kasumigaura high school (Ibaraki)

Women's freestyle
44kg – Eri Koyanagi, International Pacific Rim University
48kg – Mika Naganuma, Shigakkan University
51kg – Haruka Hirano, Nihon
55kg – Yu Horiuchi, Nihon
59kg – Kanako Murata, JOC Academy
63kg – Rio Watari, Shigakkan
67kg – Chiaki Iijima, Nihon
72kg – Shiori Tachihikari, Oji driving school club


TOKYO (April 3-4) – Miki Akeo won at 48kg and took home the outstanding wrestler in the junior division of the Japan Queens Cup female wrestling tournament.

Yu Horiuchi, the 2008 national champion and projected world team representative, won the title at 51kg after a shoulder dislocation has kept her out of competition the last 12 months.

The Japan Queens Cup competition featured the top female wrestlers in the schoolgirl, cadet and junior divisions. The senior division, which had been part of the JQC and All-Japan Women's tournament, was contested along with the men at the Meiji Nyugyo Cup invitational.

Akeo of International Pacific Rim University was joined by IPU teammates Eri Koyanagi (44kg) and Yurika Ito (59kg) in the winner's circle.

Tokyo high school student Chizuho Hamada, who took a silver medal at the Klippan Grand Prix meet in March, won the 55kg title while Rio Watari looks ready to challenge the seniors with a triumph at 63kg.

44kg – Eri Koyanagi, International Pacific Rim University
48kg – Miki Akeo, IPU
51kg – Yu Horiuchi, Nihon University
55kg – Chizuho Hamada, Nihon Kodai Komaba high school
59kg – Yurika Ito, IPU 
63kg – Rio Watari, Shigakkan University
67kg – Chiaki Iijima, NU
72kg – Shiori Tachihikari, Oji driving school club


TOKYO (April 1) – The Japanese Olympic Committee (JOC) elite athletes academy welcomed two new wrestlers to its special training and education program at the national team training center in Tokyo.

Yoshihiro Otoguro of Yamanashi Prefecture and Mayu Mukata of Mie are members of the third class of “elite” athletes with Olympic potential to join the program.

Otoguro won three titles in the schoolboy nationals and a silver medal at 38kg in last year's middle school national championships. Mukata, meanwhile, won her fourth straight national schoolgirl championship last year.


YOKOHAMA (April 5) – The wrestling team of Nippon Sports Sciences University has re-started its training program under new leadership, six months after being saddled with a ban on club activities.

While still not permitted to enter competitions, the team will be allowed to practice under a new coaching staff led by two-time Olympian Shingo Matsumoto.

The ban on club activities was placed on the team by the school last October after an 18-year-old team member was arrested for a sexual assault on a young woman living near the university.

NSSU officials, taking into account the measures taken by club, asked the East Japan collegiate wrestling association to consider lifting the ban. Both sides met to discuss the ban with the association agreeing conditionally to the university's request.

The new staff, led by Osamu Murakami as faculty representative and Matsumoto, will include two-time Olympian Kazuhiko Ikematsu as coach, as well as three-time Olympian Makoto Sasamoto and Beijing bronze medalist Kenichi Yumoto as assistant coaches.

Moreover, NSSU graduates Shogo Maeda and Yoshitaka Shimoyashiki will serve as dormitory supervisors for the club.

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