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


GUANGZHOU, China (November 23) – Hiroyuki Oda took a silver medal and Yasuhiro Inaba a bronze as the men's freestyle wrestling competition got under way at the 16th Asian Games in Guangzhou.

Oda defeated former Asia champion and world bronze medalist Bazar Bazarguruev (KGZ) on his way to the 60kg final at Huagong Gymnasium before falling to 2009 Asia runner-up Ganzorig Mandakhnaran (MGL) by fall for the championship. World bronze medalist Yasuhiro Inaba posted a pair of wins at 55kg before being overwhelmed in the semifinals by 2009 world champ Yang Kong-Il (PRK). Inaba rebounded for the Games' bronze medal with a workmanlike victory over young Tsogtbaatar Damdinbazar (MGL).

Meanwhile, on the final day of greco-roman competition, Hirokazu Shinjo lost in the opening round at 120kg and did not have a chance to wrestle in the repechage bracket.

With the the completion of greco, Japan finished with a gold medal from Kohei Hasegawa at 55kg, a silver and two bronze to surpass the gold and two bronze medals the Japanese won in Doha four years ago.

Men's Freestyle
55kg – INABA, Yasuhiro (Bronze, 16 entries)
R1 – df. Nurlan Makenaliev (KGZ), 2-0 (2-0, 4-1)
Inaba scores with a takedown at 1:27 and again at 1:38 for the first period. In the second, Inaba scores quickly with a takedown, follows with a duck-under and an ankle turn for a 4-0 lead. The former Asia cadet runner-up answers with a late point.

R2 – df. Daulet Niyazbekov (KAZ), 2-0 (3-0, 3-0)
Inaba scores with with takedowns and go-behind counters against the 2009 Asia junior bronze medalist.

SF – lost to Yang Kyong-Il (PRK) by TF, 2-0 (6-0=1:29, 6-0=2:00)
Inaba has trouble figuring out the 2009 world champ as Yang scores with a single, fireman's carry and gut wrench with press for nearfall in the first period. Inaba, a bronze medal winner at the world championships in September, is hit with an early fireman's carry in the second and then three separate leg attacks for the technical.

F3 – df. Tsogtbaatar Damdinbazar (MGL), 2-0 (1-0, 3-0)
Inaba takes the first period with a force-out in the final 10 seconds. Inaba turns the 2008 junior world bronze medalist in the second with a front headlock and then adds another push-out.

60kg – ODA, Hiroyuki (Silver, 17 entires)
R1 – bye
R2 – df. Bazar Bazarguruev (KGZ), 2-0 (1-0=2:04, 3-0=2:05)
Oda wins the draw twice after neither wrestler can score in the first or second periods. Oda converts both draws for takedowns and the win against Bazarguruev, a fifth-place finisher at the Beijing Olympics.

R3 – df. Ri Jong-Myong (PRK), 2-1 (5-0, 1-2, 2-1)
Oda opens with a duck-under takedown and a pair of gut wrenches to take the first period, but Ri evens the count with a go-behind and takedown in the second.
In the third period, Oda scores from a front headlock to takedown, but Ri draws level with an ankle pick. With time running out, Oda goes to a low single and emerges with a point for the win.

SF – df. Dauren Zhumgaziev (KAZ), 2-1 (0-2, 1-0, 8-0=1:32)
Oda gives up a takedown and gut wrench in the first period, but answers back with a duck-under late in the second.
In the third period, Oda ducks again for a point, then drops the overly aggressive Zhumgaziev on his back for three points and a nearfall. Oda ends the match by blocking a foot sweep and toppling the Asia No. 3 to his back again.

F1 – lost to Ganzorig Mandakhnaran (MGL) by fall, 3P=1:36 (3-0=2:25, 2-4, F1-7)
Oda takes the first period with a lateral drop from a scramble during the clinch. Wide-open wrestling continues in the second as Oda loses points while trying to counter an attack, then claims a pair of takedowns but loses a final point at the end.
In the third period, Oda gives up a single leg and Ganzorig wraps up the ankles for a pair of turns and a 5-1 lead. Oda goes behind for a point at 1:20 and tries to lift and throw. He gets tripped to his back, however, and held for the fall.

120kg – SHINJO, Hirokazu (7th, 13 entries)
R1 – lost to Dharmender Dalal (IND), 1-2 (0-1, 1-0, 0-1)
Nothing decided on the feet over three periods. Shinjo cannot score an offensive point in par terre in the first period, then defends for a point in the second. The ball pick-up in the third puts Shinjo on offense, but he cannot convert with the gut wrench.
Shinjo is eliminated from medal contention when Dalal loses in the quarterfinals.

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