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


NEW DELHI (May 13) – Shinichi Yumoto defeated world champions Hassan Rahimi (IRI) and Yang Kyong-Il (PRK) and won Japan's first gold medal in men's freestyle in two years at the Asian wrestling championships. Along with Yumoto at 55kg, Tokyo police officer Shinya Matsumoto earned a bronze medal at 84kg, giving Japan's its fourth medal of the men's freestyle competition – doubling the Japanese total from a year ago in Thailand. (left=Matsumoto, rightYumoto)

Yumoto dodged a bullet against Rahimi in the second round when he was given a second chance to take a second-period clinch after it appeared that the junior world champion had won. He then sealed the victory with a late force-out in the third period.

In the semifinals, Yumoto battled the reigning senior world champ Yang even through the first period to win from the clinch, then came from behind in the second with a takedown and ankle turn for the win.

Yumoto, twin brother of Olympic bronze medalist Kenichi Yumoto, took Japan's first freestyle gold medal in the championships since 2008 when Tomohiro Matsunaga won the Asian title in Jeju, Korea.

At 84kg, Matsumoto lost to unheralded Semyon Sememov (KAZ) in the semifinals, but rebounded for a win by technical superiority over Lee Chien-fu (TPE) for a bronze medal.

Also on the final day of men's freestyle competition, Tsukasa Sato lost his opening bout at 66kg to 2008 junior world bronze medalist Ihktiyor Navruzov (UZB) and Takahiro Shimonaka dropped his opening match to Ayaol Lazarev (KGZ) at 120kg.

Men's freestyle

55kg – YUMOTO, Shinichi (1st, 14 entries)
R1 – df. Ramil Rejepov (TKM), 2-0 (2-1, 7-0)
R2 – df. Hassan Rahimi (IRI), 2-1 (0-3, 1-0, 1-0)
SF – df. Yang Kyong-Il (PRK), 2-0 (1-0, 2-1)
F1 – df. Nasibulla Kurbanov (UZB), 2-0 (1-0, 1-0)

66kg – SATO, Tsukasa (9th, 15 entries)
R1 – lost to Ihktiyor Navruzov (UZB), 0-2 (0-1, 0-4)
(Navruzov lost in 2nd round, eliminating Sato)

84kg – MATSUMOTO, Shinya (3rd, 12 entries)
R1 – bye
R2 – df. Gabriel Yang (SIN) by fall, 2P (7-0, F3-0)
SF – lost to Semyon Semenov (KAZ), 0-2 (0-2, 1-5)
F3 – df. Lee Chien-fu (TPE) by TF, 2-0 (7-0, 6-0)

120kg – SHIMONAKA, Takahiro (9th, 9 entries)
R1 – lost to Ayaol Lazarev (KGZ), 0-2 (0-2, 0-6)
(Lazarev lost in the semifinals, eliminating Shimonaka)

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