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


BAKU (July 15) – Asia champion Shinichi Yumoto defeated last year's European kingpin to win the 55kg freestyle title on the opening day of the FILA Golden Grand Prix Final in Baku, Azerbaijan.

Yumoto edged Nariman Israpilov (RUS) 2-2, 1-0 for his second major title of the season and 10,000 US dollars in first-place prize money. The GGP title along with his Asia crown in May put Yumoto in the thick of the race for FILA's freestyle wrestler of the year award for 2010. In addition to his win over Israpilov, Yumoto also defeated 2009 Euro runner-up Besarion Gochashvili (GEO) in the third round and Japanese world team member Yasuhiro Inaba in the semifinals.

Inaba, who took the silver medal in Baku a year ago, slumped to fifth place after his loss to Gochashvili in the final for third place. The back-to-back losses overshadowed Inaba's 2-1 win over two-time GGP defending champion Namig Sevdimov (AZE) in the quarterfinals.

At 60kg, Shogo Maeda posted a win over European silver medalist Malkhaz Zarkua (GEO) in the second round, but could advance no further after losing to Saeid Ahmadi Zarinkolaei (IRI), who later claimed a bronze medal.

Meanwhile, world team member Hiroyuki Oda also fell to an eventual bronze medal winner Malkhaz Kurdiani (GEO) in the first round and was eliminated from medal contention when the winner of the GGP Tblisi qualifier lost in the quarterfinals.

Japan's final two entries in the freestyle competition, Takafumi Kojima (66kg) and Kazuyuki Nagashima (74kg) were unable to notch a win against a stellar field.

Results of bouts involving Japanese entries:

55kg – YUMOTO, Shinichi (1st, 21 entries)
R1 - bye
R2 – df. Kazbek Shamsutdinov (RUS) by TF, 2-1 (0-1, 6-0, 7-0)
R3 – df. Besarion Gochashvili (GEO), 2-1 (1-0, 0-2, 1-0)
SF – df. Yasuhiro Inaba (JPN), 2-0 (6-0, 1-0)
F1 – df. Nariman Israpilov (RUS), 2-0 (2-2, 1-0)

55kg – INABA, Yasuhiro (5th, 21 entries)
R1 - bye
R2 - df. Yashar Aliev (AZE) by fall, 2P (1-0, F9-2)
R3 – df. Namig Sevmidov (AZE), 2-1 (0-1, 1-0, 1-1)
SF – lost to Shinichi Yumoto (JPN), 0-2 (0-6, 0-1)
F3 – lost to Besarion Gochashvili (GEO), 0-2 (0-1,0-1)

60kg – MAEDA, Shogo (9th, 18 entries)
R1 – bye
R2 – df. Malkhaz Zarkua (GEO), 2-0 (1-0, 2-0)
R3 – lost to Saeid Ahmadi Zarinkolaei (IRI), 0-2 (0-3, 0-5)

60kg – ODA, Hiroyuki (14th, 18 entries)
R1 – lost to Malkhaz Kurdiani (GEO), 0-2 (0-3, 1-3)

66kg – KOJIMA, Takafumi (15th, 15 entries)
R1 – lost to Yabrail Hasanov(AZE) by TF, 0-2 (0-6, 0-7)
r1 – lost to Ikhtiyor Navruzov (UZB), 0-2 (0-1, 0-4)

74kg – NAGASHIMA, Kazuyuki (15th, 21 entries)
R1 – bye
R2 – lost to Gamid Dzhalilov (RUS), 0-2 (0-1, 1-2)

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