To Our Friends in Wrestling Around the world


By William May
(Japan Amateur Wrestling Federation, Public Information Committee


  TOKYO (March 26) - The Japan Wrestling Federation has reelected Tomiaki Fukuda as president and Yuji Takada as chairman of the board of directors for a second two-year term. The JWF also retained Tsuneo tachikawa、Keizo Suzuki, Tsutomu Hanahara and Kenshiro Matsunami as vice presidents.

  Former female world champions Shoko Yoshimura and Miyu Yamamoto were among four women added to the JWF council to bring the number of women on the governing body to five. “These women contributed to the early development of women’s wrestling and we look forward to their work in the future as coaches and directors,” Fukuda said.

  JWF representatives were told that the budget for 2005 would be 310 million yen, a decrease of about 30 million yen from 2004. Less money from the Japanese Olympic Committee and troubles with the soccer lottery, which was intended to generate more money for Japanese sports, were given as reasons for this year’s smaller budget.


  NIIGATA, Niigata Prefecture (March 28) - Kasumigaura high school of Ibaraki Prefecture defeated Kumamoto’s Tamana Kogyo to wins its third straight and 15th overall team title at the high school wrestling national invitational tournament.
Kasumigaura breezed past Tamana Kogyo 6-1 in the championship final at Niigata municipal gymnasium after a similar blowout against Ginan Kogyo of Gifu Prefecture in the semifinals. Tamana Kogyo defeated Tottori Chuo Ikuei 7-0 in the other semifinal.


  NIIGATA, Niigata Prefecture (March 29) - Six former junior high school national champions took home titles in the individual weight category competition at the high school wrestling national invitational tournament.

  Hiroyuki Oda of Aomoroi’s Kosei Gakuin, who won three straight junior high school titles from 2001 to 2003, breezed through the field at 55 kg for his first high school crown. The other junior high champions to also win at Niigata municipal gymnasium were Shota Omata (50 kg, Kasumigaura=Ibaraki), Kazuki Morikawa (66, Kasumigaura), Yuki Nagata (74, Amino=Kyoto), Naoto Komuro (84, Kasumigaura), and Nobuyoshi Arakida (120, Kosei Gakuin) .

  The remaining to individual titles went to Yuhi Takemoto (60, Ritsumeikan Uji=Kyoto) and Mizuki watanabe (96, Miyagi Kogyo).


  TOKYO (March 31) - World bronze medalist Kazuhiko Ikematsu breezed to victory at the national team trials for this summer’s Universiade in Turkey.

  Ikematsu, a graduate student at Nippon Sports Science University, defeated Meiji University freshman Shu Miyahara 7-0, 2-1 in the freestyle final at 66 kg. Ikematsu, along with the 13 other winners, will be recommended to the Japanese Olympic Committee for the delegation to compete at the student games August 11-21 in Izmir, Turkey.

  Other winners at the trials held at the national institute of sports science in Tokyo were:

55 - Seshito Shimuzu
60 - Noriyuki Takatsuka
74 - Ryuta Takahashi
84 - Takao Isokawa
96 - Yoshitsugu Yoneyama
120 - Akihito Tanaka

55 - Munehiro Wada
60 - Michimoto Fukuma
66 - Tsutomu Fujimura
74 - Tsukasa Tsurumaki
84 - Norikatsu Saikawa
96 - Kosuke Ishizawa
120 - Naoki Sawada

  KLIPPAN, Sweden (March 5-6) - Japanese high school student Mio Nishimaki upended former U.S. national champion Sally Roberts to win the 59-kg title at the Klippan international women’s wrestling meet. Nishimaki, a student at the high school affiliate of Chukyo Women’s University, defeated Roberts 2-0, 4-0 for the championship and was named the outstanding wrestler of the senior division.

  Meanwhile, Japan also got three titles in the cadet division from Yu Horiuchi (43 kg, Kyoto), Mika Kajita (60, Aichi) and Shoko Inoue (65, Aichi) for second place overall in the team standings.

  Other Japanese place winners in the senior division were Nanae Suzuki (51 kg, 5th), Yuyak Watabe (51, 8th), Miho Shibata (55, 2nd) and Mayumi Umakoshi (55, 3rd).

  SOFIA (March 5-6) - Two-time Olympic champion Armen Nazarian hailed Makoto Sasamoto as “very strong,” adding that he thought his Japanese rival would be the toughest wrestler at 60 kg to beat at last summers Athens Olympics.

  Nazarian, gold medal winner at the 1996 Atlanta Games and 2000 Sydney Olympics, edged Sasamoto in a controversial bout that had Japanese coaches and fans protesting that the Bulgarian star had grabbed Sasamoto’s legs in their greco-roman quarterfinal. “As always, I intended to win, but Sasamoto is very strong. I think he was the toughest wrestler at 60 kg,” said Nazarian. “Even though I wrestled him in Sydney, he had grown much stronger over the last four years.”

  Nazarian remarked that his 3-1 loss in the semifinals to Korea’s Jung Ji-Hyun was the result of the effort he expended against Sasamoto in the quarterfinals. “I wasn’t able to wrestler well in the semifinals. That’s how tough the match with Sasamoto was,” Nazarian said. Nazarian, who took home the bronze medal from Athens, added that Jung was deserving of the gold medal, saying that “60 kg in greco-roman probably has the highest level of wrestling.”

  The 30-year-old Nazarian said he intended to be at the world championships in Budapest in September, but added that he would sit out the European championships in Varna, Bulgaria in April.
(Tsutsui of the Japan Sambo Federation contributed to this report.).