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


TOKYO (May 1) – World bronze medalist Tatsuhiro Yonemitsu (photo) defeated national champ Kazuhiko Ikematsu twice on the opening day of the Meiji Nyugyo Cup All-Japan Invitational Wrestling Championships to book his place on the Japanese team for the world championships in September.

Yonemitsu, who missed the national championships in December with a shoulder injury, stopped Ikematsu in the 66kg final at Yoyogi National Gymnasium complex to take the MNC crown for a second straight year and force a wrestle-off for the world team berth.

Yonemitsu of the Japan Self-Defense Forces team then posted a second one-sided win over Ikematsu, the 2003 world bronze medal winner, in the wrestle-off for the trip to Moscow.

Also in men's freestyle, national champs Kazuyuki Nagashima (74kg) and Takahiro Shimonaka (120kg) doubled up on their December triumphs to book their place on the flight to Moscow. Nagashima will wrestle in his second world championships, while Shimonaka will be making his first trip to the world meet.

Meanwhile, in greco-roman, Hungarian Grand Prix winner Tsutomu Fujimura avenged a loss to Hiroyuki Shimizu in last December's All-Japan finals to earn his second trip to the world championships at 66kg. Fujimura finished eighth at the 2009 world meet in Denmark.

At 96kg, Katsuya Kitamura won his second trip to the worlds in greco-roman to go along with an appearance at the world meet in freestyle in 2006.

In the women's events, national champ Ayako Shoda rebounded from a quarterfinal loss to Kayoko Shimada at 59kg to win in the world team wrestle-off and earn a trip to her sixth world championships. Shimada won her first MNC title.

At 51kg, Yu Horiuchi defeated world bronze medalist Yuri Kai twice to earn her first trip to the world championships.

Horiuchi was the All-Japan Women's winner last year and was scheduled to make the trip to Denmark in September, but had to step down from the national team after an injury to her right shoulder. Kai stepped in to win the bronze medal in Denmark.

The senior women's events are being held at the MNC meet for the first time. In previous years, the women's world team qualifier was held at the Japan Queens Cup meet and later the All-Japan Women's Championships.

Men's freestyle

66kg (9 entries)
F1 – Tatsuhiro Yonemitsu df. Kazuhiko Ikematsu, 2-0 (1x-1, 6-0=1:30)
SF – Ikematsu df. Kohei Fujimoto by fall, 2P=1:21 (4-0, F7-2)
SF – Yonemitsu df. Takafumi Kojima, 2-0 (1-0, 3-0)
(Yonemitsu wins MNC title 2nd straight year)

World-team wrestle-off
Yonemitsu df. Ikematsu, 2-0 (5-0, 4-2)
(Yonemitsu makes world team 2nd straight year)

74kg (11 entries)
F1 – Kazuhiko Ikematsu df. Ryuta Takahashi, 2-0 (3-1, 6-0=1:52)
SF – Nagashima df. Yoshiaki Narabe, 2-0(7-0=2:00, 4-0)
SF – Takahashi df. Takayuki Suzuki, 2-1 (0-2, 2-0, 1x-1)
(Nagashima wins MNC title, makes world team 2nd straight year)

120 entries (9 entries)
F1 – Takahiro Shimonaka df. Nobuyoshi Arakida, 2-0 (1-0=2:02, 4-1)
SF – Shimonaka df. Masato Aisawa, 2-0 (3-0, 1-0)
SF – Arakida df. Tsutomu Takabayashi, 2-0 (1-0=2:16, 2-0)
(Shimonaka wins MNC title, makes world team 1st time)


66kg (11 entries)
F1 – Tsutomu Fujimura df. Hiroyuki Shimizu, 2-0 (3-0, 4-0)
SF – Shimizu df. Shota Fukuhara, 2-0 (1-0, 3-0)
SF – Fujimura df. Tomohiro Inoue, 2-0 (1-0, 2-0)
(Fujimura wins MNC title 2nd straight year)

World team wrestle-off
Fujimura df. Shimizu, 2-0 (1-0, 2-0)
(Fujimura makes world team for 2nd straight year)

96kg (10 entries)
F1 – Katsuya Kitamura df. Sho Kurokawa, 2-0 (3-0, 7-0=1:37)
SF – Kitamura df. Hiroki Fukuda, 2-0 (7-0=1:34, 2-0)
SF – Kurokawa df. Yasuhiro Mori, 2-1 (0-5, 1-0, 1-0)
(Kitamura wins MNC title, makes world team for 2nd straight year, 3rd time overall)

Women's freestyle

51kg (8 entries)
F1 - Yu Horiuchi df. Yuri Kai, 2-0 (4-1, 1-0)
SF – Kai df. Megumi Sugimoto, 2-0 (3-0, 2-0)
SF – Horiuchi df. Arisa Tanaka, 2-0 (1-0, 1-0)
(Horiuchi wins All-Japan Women, MNC title 2nd straight year)

World team wrestle-off
Horiuchi df. Kai, 2-0 (4-1, 1-0)
(Horiuchi makes 1st world team)

59kg (9 entries)
F1 – Kayoko Shimada df. Kei Yamana, 2-0 (1-0, 1x-1)
SF – Shimada df. Takako Saito, 2-0 (1-0, 1-0)
SF – Yamana df. Yurika Ito, 2-1 (3-1, 1-2, 4-1)
(Shimada wins MNC title 1st time)

World team wrestle-off
Ayako Shoda df. Shimada, 2-0 (1-0, 1x-1)
(Shoda makes 6th world team, 1st in two years)

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