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


MOSCOW (September 6) – Japan's hopes on the opening day of the wrestling world championships were dashed early as all three entries in the greco-roman competition went down before the quarterfinals. Kohei Hasegawa was the only Japanese wrestler to post a win at the Olympiysky Sports Complex on the first day with a convincing 2-0 win at 55kg over Golden Grand Prix bronze medalist Akbar Kuziev of Uzbekistan.

Hasegawa, however, was over-matched against last year's world silver medalist Roman Amoyan of Armenia in the round of 16 and crashed out of the competition when Amoyan lost in the semifinals.

At 66kg, Hungarian Open champion Tsutomu Fujikawa started strong against Uzbekistan's Vladimir Pogudin, but failed to score in the next two periods and fell to a wrestler making his world championships debut.

At 96kg, Katsuya Kitamura had to wait a couple hours because of technical difficulties in the hall for his chance on the mat against Germany's Mirko Englich, but took the Olympic silver medalist the distance before being hit with a call for passivity that cost him the match.

Results of bouts involving Japanese entries:



55kg – HASEGAWA, Kohei (16th, 34 entries)
R1 - bye

R2 – df. Akbar Kuziev (UZB), 2-0 (2-0, 3-0)
Hasegawa scores with a gut wrench to take the first period, then breaks the match open with a one-point arm throw and gut wrench in the second.

R3 – lost to Roman Amoyan (ARM), 0-2 (0-7, 0-3)
Amoyan goes behind Hasegawa and executes a quick gut wrench for an early 5-0 lead in the first period, then uses a bodylock takedown and exposure in the second for a straight sets win. Hasegawa was eliminated from medal contention when Amoyan lost to world champion Hamid Soryan Reihanpour in the semifinals.

66kg – FUJIMURA, Tsutomu (20th, 36 entries)
R1 - bye

R2 – lost to Vladimir Pogudin (UZB), 1-2 (6-0, 0-2, 0-2)
Fujimura opened with three quick gut wrenches to take the first period, but was then turned from a reverse waist-lock in the second. In a scoreless third period, Fujimura could not convert in par terre and lost the subsequent challenge. Fujimura was eliminated from medal contention when Pogudin lost in the next round.

96kg – KITAMURA, Katsuya (20th, 34 entries)
R1 - bye

R2 – lost to Mirko Englich (GER), 1-2 (0-2, 1-0, 1-1x)
In a bout lacking offensive scoring, Kitamura traded the first two periods the Olympic silver medalist and appeared on his way to an upset in the third period, but was penalized for passive wrestling for holding onto his opponent's hands and fingers too long. Kitamura was eliminated from medal contention when Englich lost in the quarterfinals.

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