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

  April wrestling news

YOKOHAMA (April 24-25) Fumitaka Morishita reclaimed his junior national title at 55kg in freestyle and was named the outstanding wrestler of the JOC Cup junior and cadet national championships.

Along with Morishita, three other members of the Nippon Sports Science University squad won individual titles in the school's return to the tourney. NSSU wrestlers, including Morishita, were forced out of last year's meet following the arrest and conviction of a teammate for sexual assault in 2009.

Morishita won his first title in 2009 as a student at Kasumigaura high school in Ibaraki and went on to win a silver medal at the Asian junior championships that year.

Meanwhile, Waseda University freshman Shori Maekawa defended his title at 120kg in greco-roman as he and two teammates won three titles at Yokohama Bunka Gymnasium.

Joining Maekawa as repeat winners were Waseda teammate Ko Osaka at 96kg in greco-roman and Nobuyuki Oka of Nihon University at 120kg in freestyle.

The JOC Cup meet also serves as a selection tourney for the Japanese men's team for the junior world championships. Selection for the women's national team was based on results from the Japan Queens Cup meet held April 2-3.

Men's freestyle winners, juniors
50kg Gento Nakamura, Kyoto Hachiman high school
55kg Fumitaka Morishita, Nippon Sports Sciences University
60kg Makoto Kuwabara, Waseda University
66kg Naoki Iwabuchi, Takushoku University
74kg Saisuke Shimada, Kokushikan University
84kg Kengo Sasaki, NSSU
96kg Koki Yamamoto, Hanasaku Tokuharu high school (Saitama)
120kg Tomoyuki Oka, Nihon University

Greco-roman winners, juniors
50kg Tomohiko Kagawa, Toyo University
55kg Tomoaki Nakano, NSSU
60kg Suguru Yamaguchi, Tokuyama University
66kg Hyogo Endo, Meiji University
74kg Takaharu Nakamura, NSSU
84kg Ryo Kikuchi, Aoyama Gakuin University
96kg Akira Osaka, Waseda
120kg Shori Maekawa, Waseda

Boys freestyle, cadets
42kg Yudai Fujita, Inabe club (Mie)
46kg Yuhi Fujinami, Inabe
50kg Rinya Nakamura, Hanasaku Tokuharu
54kg Daichi Takatani, Amino high school (Kyoto)
58kg Katsuyoshi Kawase, Inabe Sogo Gakuen high school (Mie)
63kg Kazuma Ito, Amino
69kg Masato Mizuno, Amino
76kg Tsubasa Asai, Kyoto Hachiman
85kg Koji Takeda, Saitama Sakae high school
100kg Shinya Yamamoto, Hanasakui Tokuharu

Boys greco-roman, cadets
42kg Daiki Kobayashi, Hokugo middle school (Ehime)
46kg Katsutoshi Ichioka, Nakatsu Shogyo middle school (Gifu)
50kg Kenichiro Fumita, Nirasaki Kogyo high school (Yamanashi)
54kg Yoshiki Izumida, Niigata Ken-ou Kogyo high school
58kg Yuki Tanaka, Minami Kyoto high school
63kg Shohei Yabiku, Urazoe Kogyo high school (Okinawa)
69kg Yuya Maeta, Kurayoshi Sogo Shogyo high school (Tottori)
76kg Yuki Ikezawa, Hanasaku Tokuharu
85kg Ryuta Yonaha, Urazoe Kogyo
100kg Arata Sonoda, Hino high school (Shiga)


YOKOHAMA (April 24-25) Junior world silver medalist Haruka Hirano won the women's 55kg crown and was named the outstanding female wrestler at the JOC Cup junior and cadet national championships.

Hirano of Nihon University won last year's championships at 51kg and went on to win a silver medal at the junior world meet in Budapest.

Kanako Murata, a junior world bronze medalist last year, repeated as junior national champ at 59kg. It was Murata's third straight title at the JOC Cup meet, including a win as a cadet in 2009.

Women's freestyle, juniors
44kg Ayaka Tsuji, Sakai girls high school (Osaka)
48kg Yuki Irie, Kyushu Kyoritsu University
51kg Yuka Sakurai, Daito Bunka University
55kg Haruka Hirano, Nihon University
59kg Kanako Murata, JOC Academy (Tokyo)
63kg Kasumi Utada, Toyo University
67kg Chihiro Hashimoto, Nihon University
72kg Akie Arai, Hosei University

Girls, cadets
38kg Tomoko Ueno, Gold Kids (Tokyo)
40kg Miho Igarashi, Sekijuku club (Chiba)
43kg Kika Kaga, Gold Kids
46kg Sachi Katagiri, Sakae
49kg Nanami Irie, Okura Shogyo high school (Fukuoka)
52kg Anri Kimura, Nishiora high school (Gunma)
56kg Yui Sakano, Abe Gakuin high school (Tokyo)
60kg Yoshimi Kayama, Abe Gakuin
65kg Masako Furuichi, JOC Academy (Tokyo)
70kg Rino Abe, Abe Gakuin


TOKYO (April 20) World champion Kaori Icho and bronze medalist Kyoko Hamaguchi will spearhead Japan's efforts in the 2011 Asian championships in Tashkent, the Japan Wrestling Federation announced.

In addition to the world and Olympic multi-medalists on the female side, the JWF also named world bronze medalists Yasuhiro Inaba and Noriyuki Takatsuka to the men's freestyle team. Inaba was third at 55kg in last year's world meet while Takatsuka was a bronze medalist in 2006 at 60kg.

The competition gets under way in the Uzbek capital with men's freestyle on May 19-20, followed by the women on May 20-21. Greco-roman closes out the championships May 21-22.

Men's freestyle
55kg Yasuhiro Inaba, Tokyo Metropolitan Police Department
60kg Noriyuki Takatsuka, Japan Self-Defense Forces
66kg Takafumi Kojima, K-Powers
74kg Kazuyuki Nagashima, Clean-up
84kg Shinya Matsumoto, Tokyo MPD
96kg Takahiro Shimonaka, Chukyo Gakuin University club
120kg Nobuyoshi Arakida, Senshu University club

55kg Ryo Minemura, Kanagawa University staff
60kg Kazuma Kuramoto, Japan SDF
66kg Hiroyuki Shimizu, Japan SDF
74kg Kazuo Tamura, Waseda club
84kg Taichi Oka, Japan SDF
96kg Yuji Yamamoto, Tokyo MPD
120kg Hirokazu Shinjo, Japan SDF

Women's freestyle
48kg Fuyuko Mimura, Nihon University
51kg Hikari Sugawara, Shigakkan high school (Aichi)
55kg Chikako Matsukawa, Japan Beverage
59kg Takako Saito, Japan SDF
63kg Kaori Icho, ALSOK
67kg Yoshiko Inoue, Clean-up
72kg Kyoko Hamaguchi, Japan Beverage


TOKYO (April 2-3) Yurika Ito of Pacific Rim University successfully defended her 59kg junior title and was named the outstanding wrestler of the Junior Queens Cup wrestling championships at Komazawa Gymnasium in Tokyo.

The Junior Queens Cup, for the first time, also served as the national team trials for the Japanese women's junior world team headed to Bucharest in July.

Meanwhile, Kanako Murata, who won a bronze medal at last year's world meet at 59kg, won the JQC crown at 55kg with a 2-1 win over defending champion Chihiro Hamada.

Two-time middle school national champion Sara Dosho entered her first meet as a junior and won the 67kg title.

Junior winners
44kg Miki Yachi, Shigakkan University (Aichi)
48kg Mika Naganuma, Shigakkan
51kg Kika Shitochi, Shigakkan
55kg Kanako Murata, JOC Academy (Tokyo)
59kg Yurika Ito, Pacific Rim University (Okayama)
63kg Rio Watari, Shigakkan
67kg Sara Dosho, Shigakkan high school
72kg Akie Arai, Hosei University

Cadet winners
38kg no entries
40kg no entries
43kg Rina Okuno, Isshi Juniors (Mie)
46kg Sachi Katakiri, Sakai girls high school (Osaka)
49kg Yu Miyahara, JOC Academy (Tokyo)
52kg Risako Kawai, Shigakkan HS
56kg Yui Sakano, Abe Gakuin high school (Tokyo)
60kg Kiwa Sakae, Shigakkan HS
65kg Masako Furuichi, JOC Academy
70kg Rino Abe, Abe Gakuin


TOKYO (April 6) Three promising young wrestlers were added to the wrestling team at the Elite Academy of the Japanese Olympic Committee (JOC) where they will be live-in prospects at the national team training center.

The three wrestlers are Taro Umebayashi, a five-time national schoolboy champion from Chiba; Toshiya Abe, a seven-time schoolboy champ from Ibaraki, and Takuto Otoguro, a five-time schoolboy champ for the Gold Kids club of Tokyo.

Academy students live and train at the national training under the watchful eye of a select staff of coaches, trainers and nutritionists. They also keep up with academics at local schools.

With the addition of the class of 2011, the JOC Academy includes 10 wrestlers four (1 boy, 3 girls) in high school and six (4 boys, 2 girls) in junior high school.

Along with the incoming wrestlers were four table tennis players and five fencers, bringing the total number of athletes in the elite training program to 36 heading into the fourth year of the program.


TOKYO (April 20) The Korean Wrestling Federation presented 20 million won (about 1.5 million Japanese yen) to the Japan Wrestling Federation for disaster relief in the wake of the 9.0 magnitude earthquake and tsunami that struck northeastern Japan on March 11.

JWF president Tomiaki Fukuda accepted the donation for the JWF during a visit to Korea on April 16 from KWF official Kim Hye-Jun.

“I want to express my deepest gratitude to the kindness of the Korean Wrestling Federation and, at the same, express my wish for the strengthening of exchanges between our two countries,” Fukuda said.

Almost two months after the disaster, nearly 15,000 deaths have been confirmed by Japanese police with more than 10,000 people still reported missing. The National Police Agency also reported on April 15 that some 138,000 evacuees from the stricken region were still living in shelters.

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