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


MOSCOW (September 10) – Kyoko Hamaguchi closed out the women's events for Japan with a bronze medal and Yasuhiro Inaba kicked off the men's freestyle with a bronze on the fifth day of the wrestling world championships in Moscow.

As the women's competition concluded at Olympiysky Sports Complex, Hamaguchi's bronze medal at 72kg and a fifth-place finish by Mami Shinkai at 67kg added to Japan's runaway victory in the team competition.

With three champions, a silver and two bronze medals, Japan won the women's team title with 61 points, well ahead of second place Russia (39) and third-place Canada (36).

Unfortunately, it was Canadian opponents who kept Hamaguchi and Shinkai out of the gold medal matches. Hamaguchi lost to long-time rival Ohenewa Akuffo (CAN) in the semifinals at 72kg, while Shinkai fell to soon-to-be three-time world champion Martine Dugrenier (CAN) at 67kg.

In men's freestyle, Yasuhiro Inaba strung together four straight wins at 55kg before losing to 17-year-old phenom Toghrul Asgarov (AZE) in the semifinals.

Inaba, however, rebounded for a decisive win over two-time world medalist Bayaraa Naranbaatar (MGL) in the bronze-medal match.


Results of bouts involving Japanese entries:

Women's freestyle

67kg – SHINKAI, Mami (5th, 17 entries)
R1 – bye
R2 – df. Yanira Morales Garcia (PUR), 2-0 (9-3, 5-1)
Shinkai gives up a hip throw in the first period before coming back with a go-behind and eight exposure points. In the second, Shinkai steps out of bounds to give her opponent a point before hitting a knee-pick takedown for three points and exposure.

R3 – lost to Martine Dugrenier (CAN), 0-2 (0-1, 0-3)
In a replay of the 2008 world championship final, Dugrenier takes a single-leg in the closing seconds of the first period, then steps over Shinkai's attempted single-leg counter in the second for two points and adds exposure with an cross-ankle turn.

c1 – df. Maja Erlandsen (NOR) by default, 0:00

F3 – lost to Ifeoma Iheanacho (NGR) by fall, 1P=1:02 (F0-5)
Shinkai gives up a single-leg and tries to go on the offensive. Shinkai shoots in for leg attack, but Iheanacho counters with a whipover to the back and the fall.

72kg – HAMAGUCHI, Kyoko (3rd,20 entries)
R1 – bye
R2 – df. Katerina Burmistrova (UKR), 2-1 (1-1x=last point, 1-0=2:02, 1-0)
Hamaguchi drops the first period on last point criteria, but pulls even with a double-leg takedown out of the clinch in the second. In the third period, Hamaguchi scores a go-behind takedown at 1:55 to defeat the 2009 European champ at 67kg.

R3 – df. Orchibat Burmaa (MGL), 2-0 (4-3, 1-0)
Hamaguchi gets back exposure from a front headlock and nearside cradle and again with a tilt for four points, but nearly squanders her lead when she gives up an arm throw to last year's world silver medalist. Hamaguchi seals the win with go-behind at 1:29 of the second period.

SF – lost to Ohenewa Akuffo (CAN), 1-2 (3-0=2:05, 0-3, 0-1=2:02)
Hamaguchi wins the first period draw and converts with a pick-up and dump to the back. Akuffo, a former World Cup champion, answers with a double-leg takedown for three points in the second.
Akuffo draws her own color to start the third period clinch in the advantage position and promptly converts with a takedown to advance to her first world championship final.

F3 – df. Maider Unda (ESP), 2-0 (1x-1=last point, 2-0=2:04)
Hamaguchi tries to snap Unda down, but steps out of bounds giving the 2009 world bronze medalist a point early in the stanza. Hamaguchi drags to a single-leg at 1:12 to earn the final point and the first period. After a scoreless second period, Hamaguchi wins the draw for the clinch and converts for the win.

Men's freestyle

55kg – INABA, Yasuhiro (3rd, 34 entries)
R1 – df. Ibrahim Farag (EGY), 2-0 (1-0, 8-1=1:21)
Inaba takes the first period on an ankle-pick takedown, then breaks the match with the junior world bronze medal winner open with a go-behind, two ankle turns, then adds a 3-point takedown and gut wrench for the technical fall.

R2 – df. Aslan Zhanakhanov (KAZ) by TF, 2-0 (7-0=1:39, 7-0=0:47)
Inaba combines tilts and turns over two periods for the win by technical superiority.

R3 – df. John Pineda (CAN), 2-0 (1-0, 2-1)
Inaba takes the first period with a lone takedown. Inaba scores first in the second but the former Pan American bronze medalist comes back with his own point out of a scramble at 1:15. Inaba, however, is able to regain the lead and the win with a double-leg takedown at 1:42.

R4 – df. Obenson Blanc (USA) by fall, 2P=1:50 (0-2, F4-2)
Inaba has difficulty trying to stop the speedy Pan American silver medalist and gives up two single-leg takedowns in the first period. Blanc continues with his offensive in the second with two more takedowns in the first minute, but Inaba finally gets his chance to shoot and converts quickly for the come-from-behind fall.

SF – lost to Toghrul Asgarov (AZE), 1-2 (0-6=1:32, 1x-1=last point, 1-2)
Asgarov, who celebrates his 18th birthday next week, makes a good use of his shuck and go behind to take the first period on a technical fall. Inaba gives up another takedown to start the second, but battles back with a single-leg at 1:43 to win the second period.

Inaba takes his first lead in the third period when he stops the European junior champion's attack and goes behind for a point. He makes it stand until the final 10 seconds when Asgarov pushes Inaba to the edge of the mat and out of the ring. Japanese coaches argue that it was Inaba's throw that carried them out, but to no avail from the officials.

F3 – df. Bayaraa Naranbaatar (MGL), 2-0 (1-0, 6-0=1:28)
Inaba hits a late duck-under and throws Bayaraa out of bounds for a point and the first period. In the second, Inaba opens up with snaps to leg attacks for three points, then hits a straight double-leg and gut wrench for the technical and bronze medal.

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