#CadetAsians

Iran Captures FS & GR Titles in Cadets Asian C’ships, Japan Shines in Women’s Wrestling

By Ali Feiz

NUR-SULTAN, KAZAKHSTAN (July 9) --- The Cadet Asian Championships concluded in Nur-Sultan, Kazakhstan, and Iran topped the tournament in freestyle and Greco-Roman, as Japan won team title in women’s wrestling.

In freestyle, Iran came in strong and medaled in all ten weight classes, claiming seven gold medals, one silver and one bronze, and collected 212 of the 250 possible points.

Ali ARAB FIROUZJAEI (45kg), Rahman AMOUZADKHALILI (48kg) and Ali GHOLIZADEGAN KOLOUKHI (51kg) gave Iran three golds in light weight categories but Aman AMAN from India and Kota TAKAHASHI from Japan made a gap in Iranian’s victories as captured gold medal in 55 and 60kg respectively.

Amir MOTAGHI (65kg), Amirhossein FIROUZPOURBANDPEI (80kg), Soheyl YOUSEFI SANGANI (92kg) and Salar HABIBI EHSANI (110kg) were four other Iranian champions, while Vijay VIJAY (IND) achieved the second gold medal for India at 71kg to help his team place second  (157 points) with two golds, one silver, and five bronze medalist.  The host country Kazakhstan had 8 medals (3 silver and 5 bronze) and 145 points to place third in Freestyle after Iran and India.

In Greco-Roman, Iran and Kazakhstan had a close battle for team title but Iran topped the host nation by six points.

Iran only had one more gold medal than Kazakhstan (4 gold, 2 silver, one bronze) as the host team had one more bronze medal (3 gold, 2 silver, 2 bronze).

Amirreza DEHBOZORGI (48kg), Saeid ESMAEILI LEIVESI (51kg), Hojat REZAEI (65kg) and Saeid KARIMIZADEH (92kg) were four Iranian champions who helped their team gather 181points. \

Samatbek IZIMGALI (45kg), Maksat SAILAU (80kg) and Nurtaz KYDYRBAY (110kg) earned three gold medals for Kazakhstan as the host team finished in second place with 175 points, while Kyrgyzstan came third with 137 points.

The three other Greco-Roman titles went to Firuz MIRZORAJABOV from Tajikistan at 55kg, Amirbek SULTONOV from Uzbekistan at 60kg and Bakdaulet EGEMBERDIEV from Kyrgyzstan at 71kg.

In women’s wrestling, the Japanese girls achieved six medals (4 gold and 2 silver) and won the team title with 176 points. India (159 points) was in close competition as they had six medals but only one of them was gold (one gold, 3 silver, 2 bronze). 

Participating in the tournament with eight wrestlers, China team had good performance by seven medals (one gold, 3 silver, 3 bronze), collecting 138 points and placing third in team standings.

Umi ITO (46kg), Mako OONO (53kg), Ami ISHI (65kg) and Rin TERAMOTO (69kg) were the four Japanese champions as North Korea which had only three wrestlers, won two gold medals by Jin Hyang JANG (43kg) and Ji Hyang KIM (in 49kg).

Four countries shared four remaining individual titles as Mushtariy TOLIPBEKOVA from Uzbekistan at 40kg, Priyanka PRIYANKA from India at 57kg, Maral BATTSOOJ from Mongolia at 61kg and Meng DANG from China at 73kg succeed to defeat all of their rivals.

2019 Cadet’s Asian Championships Medal Winners:

Freestyle

45kg
GOLD- Ali ARAB FIROUZJAEI (IRI)
SILVER- Nodirbek YAKUBOV (UZB)
BRONZE- Suraj ANNIKERI (IND)
BRONZE-  Dastan URMATBEK UULU (KGZ)

48kg
GOLD- Rahman AMOUZADKHALILI (IRI)
SILVER- Nurdaulet BAZARBAYEV (KAZ)
BRONZE- Kamronbek KADAMOV (UZB)
BRONZE- Otgonbaatar BOLDBAATAR (MGL)

51kg
GOLD- Ali GHOLIZADEGAN KOLOUKHI (IRI)
SILVER- Samagan ULAN UULU (KGZ)
BRONZE- Merey BAZARBAYEV (KAZ)
BRONZE- Sunil SUNIL (IND)

55kg
GOLD- Aman AMAN (IND)
SILVER- Arslan RAKHIMOV (UZB)
BRONZE- Shamil KALMATOV (KGZ)
BRONZE- Mahdi VEISI (IRI)

60kg
GOLD- Kota TAKAHASHI (JPN)
SILVER- Erfan ELAHI (IRI)
BRONZE- Deepak DEEPAK (IND)
BRONZE- Akniyet TULEGENOV (KAZ)

65kg
GOLD- Amir Hossein MOTAGHI (IRI)
SILVER- Mustafo AKHMEDOV (TJK)
BRONZE- Olzhas OLZHAKANOV (KAZ)
BRONZE- Manish GOSWAMI (IND)

71kg
GOLD- Vijay VIJAY (IND)
SILVER- Shokhruh JURAEV (UZB)
BRONZE- Nurdaulet KUANYSHBAY (KAZ)
BRONZE- Nurman UMAROV (KGZ)

80kg
GOLD- Amirhossein FIROUZPOURBANDPEI (IRI)
SILVER- Bekzat AMANGALI (KAZ)
BRONZE- Pureun KIM (KOR)
BRONZE- Abubakr SHUKUROV (TJK)

92kg
GOLD- Soheyl YOUSEFI SANGANI (IRI)
SILVER- Monu DAHIYA (IND)
BRONZE- Er HURILEBATE (CHN)
BRONZE- Bekzat TAZHI (KAZ)

110kg
GOLD- Salar HABIBI EHSANI (IRI)
SILVER- Islam TAGIROV (KAZ)
BRONZE- Kumar ANIRUDH (IND)
BRONZE- Zihao HUANG (CHN)

Freestyle Team Standings:
1- Iran 212 pts
2- India 157 pts
3- Kazakhstan 145 pts
4- Uzbekistan 127 pts
5- Kyrgyzstan 95 pts
6- Japan 91 pts
7- Korea 65 pts
8- Mongolia 63 pts
9- Tajikistan 55 pts
10- China 54 pts
11- Turkmenistan 30 pts
12- Saudi Arabia 20 pts
13- Taipei Chinese 12 pts
14- Jordan 10 pts
15- Singapore 0 point
15- Syria 0 point

Greco-Roman

45kg
GOLD- Samatbek IZIMGALI (KAZ)
SILVER- Razzak BEISHEKEEV (KGZ)
BRONZE- Kansei KAMIYOSHI (JPN)
BRONZE- Harsh HARSH (IND)

48kg
GOLD- Amirreza DEHBOZORGI (IRI)
SILVER- Yerassyl DAULETBEK (KAZ)
BRONZE- Kuvonchbek TOSHNAZAROV (UZB)
BRONZE- Ulukbek SANSYZBAEV (KGZ)

51kg
GOLD- Saeid ESMAEILI LEIVESI (IRI)
SILVER- Arshad ARSHAD (IND)
BRONZE- Kohei YAMAGIWA (JPN)
BRONZE- Iskhar KURBAYEV (KAZ)

55kg
GOLD- Firuz MIRZORAJABOV (TJK)
SILVER- Abror ATABAEV (UZB)
BRONZE- Yerassyl KENGANOV (KAZ)
BRONZE- Parvin PATIL (IND)

60kg
GOLD- Amirbek SULTONOV (UZB)
SILVER- Seyed Danial SOHRABI (IRI)
BRONZE- Ravi RAVI (IND)
BRONZE- Didar ORAZBERDIYEV (TKM)

65kg
GOLD- Hojat REZAEI (IRI)
SILVER- Din MUKHAMED KOSHKAR (KAZ)
BRONZE- Jianwei OU (CHN)
BRONZE- Neeraj NEERAJ (IND)

71kg
GOLD- Bakdaulet EGEMBERDIEV (KGZ)
SILVER- Reza SAKI (IRI)
BRONZE- Sheroz OCHILOV (TJK)
BRONZE- Samandar BOBONAZAROV (UZB)

80kg
GOLD- Maksat SAILAU (KAZ)
SILVER- Bekzat ORUNKUL UULU (KGZ)
BRONZE- Yifan CHEN (CHN)
BRONZE- Eito NISHIDA (JPN)

92kg
GOLD- Saeid KARIMIZADEH (IRI)
SILVER- Nitesh NITESH (IND)
BRONZE- Ao SUN (CHN)
BRONZE- Djakhongir KHOSHIMOV (UZB)

110kg
GOLD- Nurtaz KYDYRBAY (KAZ)
SILVER- Sonu SONU (IND)
BRONZE- Shahrokh MIKAEILI (IRI)
BRONZE-Davran SADYKOV (KGZ)

Greco-Roman Team Standings:
1- Iran 181 pts
2- Kazakhstan 175 pts
3- Kyrgyzstan 137 pts
4- India 134 pts
5- Uzbekistan 132 pts
6- Japan 85 pts
7- China 81 pts
8- Tajikistan 76 pts
9- Korea 58 pts
10- Turkmenistan 39 pts
11- Saudi Arabia 18 pts
12- Taipei Chinese 12 pts
13- Syria 6 pts
14- Jordan 0 point

Women’s Wrestling

40kg
GOLD- Mushtariy TOLIPBEKOVA (UZB)
SILVER- Komal KOMAL (IND)
BRONZE- Jin A KIM (PRK)

43kg
GOLD- Jin Hyang JANG (PRK)
SILVER- Karin UEMATSU (JPN)
BRONZE- Nazik MIRLAN KYZY (KGZ)

46kg
GOLD- Umi ITO (JPN)
SILVER- Xuejing LIANG (CHN)
BRONZE- Bermet NURIDIN KYZY (KGZ)

49kg
GOLD- Ji Hyang KIM (PRK)
SILVER- Yu SAKAMOTO (JPN)
BRONZE- Zeinep BAYANOVA (KAZ)
BRONZE- Xiaomin XIE (CHN) 

53kg
GOLD- Mako OONO (JPN)
SILVER- Altyn SHAGAYEVA (KAZ)
BRONZE- Ying LU (CHN)

57kg
GOLD- Priyanka PRIYANKA (IND)
SILVER- Yifan TANG (CHN)
BRONZE- Altjin TOGTOKH (MGL)
BRONZE- Burulsun BEKBOLOTOVA (KGZ)

61kg
GOLD- Maral BATTSOOJ (MGL)
SILVER- Laylokhon SOBIROVA (UZB)
BRONZE- DDilnaz SAZANOVA (KGZ)
BRONZE-Bhagyashree FAND (IND)

65kg
GOLD- Ami ISHI (JPN)
SILVER- Sonam SONAM (IND)
BRONZE- Cun LIU (CHN)
BRONZE- Rushana ABDIRASULOVA (UZB)

69kg
GOLD- Rin TERAMOTO (JPN)
SILVER- Yifeng LU (CHN)
BRONZE- Nurzat NURTAEVA (KGZ)
BRONZE- Reetika REETIKA (IND)

73kg
GOLD - Meng DANG (CHN)
SILVER - Pooja POOJA (IND)
BRONZE - Ayazhan SADU (KAZ)
BRONZE - Delgertsetseg BAASANKHUU (MGL)

Women’s Wrestling Team Standings:
1- Japan 176 pts
2- India 159 pts
3-China 138 pts
4- Mongolia 123 pts
5- Uzbekistan 114 pts
6- Kazakhstan 111 pts
7- Kyrgyzstan 110 pts
8- DPR Korea 65 pts
9- Taipei Chinese 58 pts

#WrestleNarita

Kawai Ready to Lead Japan at Women's World Cup

By Ken Marantz

NARITA, Japan (November 13) --- With an Olympic gold and three world titles already under her belt, it seems hard to believe that Risako KAWAI is only approaching her 25th birthday. But when it comes to the team that Japan will send out when it hosts the Women’s World Cup, she can be considered one of the grand old ladies of the squad.

Kawai and younger sister Yukako are among four medalists from the senior World Championships named to a relatively young Japanese team, which includes all 10 medalists---including seven champions---from the recently concluded U23 World Championships in Budapest.

“We will be going for a fifth straight title,” Risako Kawai said at a recent press conference to announce the team in Tokyo. “I took on the challenge of captain of the team at the World Championships. My task at this World Cup will also be to lead us to victory.”

Kawai will turn 25 on Nov. 21---four days after she hopes to be celebrating Japan’s 17th title overall in the six-nation tournament to be held in Narita, the city east of Tokyo best known for its international airport.

“For me personally, this is my third World Cup that our country is hosting,” said Kawai, who will compete at the Olympic weight class of 57kg. “I will do everything I can to bring the Japan team a 17th title overall and achieve a fifth straight.”

Also named to the 20-woman squad (two in each weight class) were world silver medalist Hiroe MINAGAWA at 76kg and bronze medalists Yukako KAWAI at 62kg and Masako FURUICHI, who finished third at 72kg in Nur-Sultan but has dropped down to 68kg. At 32, only Minagawa is older than Risako Kawai. 

The squad also features a pair of former world champions in Yui SUSAKI at 50kg and Haruna OKUNO at 53kg, both of whom lost in wrestle-offs for places on the team to Nur-Sultan but will surely bring added firepower to the hosts.

Haruna OKUNO, a 2019 U23 world champion, will wrestle at 53kg. (Photo: Sachiko Hotaka)

All but three of the 20 wrestlers are either collegians or high schoolers. Eight are from powerhouse Shigakkan University, including Yukako Kawai, Okuno and twin sisters Naruha and Yasuha MATSUYUKI, who are entered at 68kg and 76kg, respectively. 

Okuno was one of Japan’s seven women gold medalists at the U23 World Championships, where the country also hauled in two silvers and a bronze.  

“At the U23, the women won titles in seven weight classes. It’s good momentum to bring to the World Cup,” national team technical director Shigeki Nishiguchi said. “This time, a number of wrestlers firmly expressed an interest in participating. I feel like they want to raise their level one or two steps at the World Cup.”

In taking a leadership role, Kawai said she was inspired by the performance of Japan’s captain at the recent Rugby World Cup, New Zealand-born Michael Leitch, whose efforts to get the team to gel resulted in a stunning run by the host country into the quarterfinals for the first time ever. 

“The most important thing in a team event is to come together as one,” Kawai said. “Recently, I have been thinking about how to deal with the younger wrestlers. I heard that Leitch handed out gum to his teammates. Maybe I should try that,” she added with a laugh.

With Japan grouped together with Asian rival China and Ukraine, Kawai will likely face a rematch of the gold medal match from Nur-Sultan against RONG Ningning (CHN), whom she beat 9-6. 

“At this year’s world championships, I met the Chinese wrestler in the final,” Kawai said. “Still, every country is going to send out a strong wrestler. For every match, I fight with the assumption I can win.” 

Noticeably absent are Mayu MUKAIDA, who finished second at 53kg in Nur-Sultan, and Rio 2016 gold medalist Sara DOSHO, who finished fifth at 68kg. It was at the 2018 World Cup that Dosho suffered a shoulder injury that required surgery and kept her out of that year's World Championships. 

Japan officials said that Mukaida, also a Shigakkan student, was involved in student-teaching and could not adequately train for the World Cup. As for Dosho, she needs a victory at the All-Japan Championships in December to clinch her place at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics and, while her shoulder has healed, did not want to take any chances. 

The drop of both Furuichi and Naruha Matsuyuki from 72kg to 68kg appears to indicate they will challenge Dosho for the Tokyo 2020 spot that she earned in that weight class with her fifth place in Nur-Sultan. Had Dosho won a medal, she would have clinched the berth outright; instead, she has to wait for the All-Japan tournament.  

High schooler Yuzuka INAGAKI (JPN) will make her World Cup debut, where she'll wrestle at 59kg. (Photo: Sachiko Hotaka)

The high schoolers on the squad are a pair of current world junior champions, Yuzuka INAGAKI at 59kg and Yuka KAGAMI at 72kg, both of whom medaled at higher weights in Budapest.

Inagaki was the top seed at 59kg at the senior World Championships, but finished out of the medals after losing in the quarterfinals to Pooja DHANDA (IND)---although she bounced back by taking the 62kg gold at the U23 tournament. Kagami finished second at 76kg in Budapest. 

One other noticeable absence from the team is Yuki IRIE, who defeated two-time world champion Susaki in the national team playoffs for the 50kg spot in Nur-Sultan. She not only finished there without a medal, but without an Olympic berth for Japan after suffering a heartbreaking 13-12 loss to SUN Yanan (CHN) in the quarterfinals.

A wrist injury has kept Irie from appearing at a second straight World Cup, Japan officials said. She was a member of the Japan team that won the title last year in the Japanese city of Takasaki. Japan took the trophy with a 6-4 victory in the final over China---a triumph sparked by Irie's victory by fall over Sun in the opening match. 

Japan's other medalist in Nur-Sultan, Irie's younger sister Nanami, who took the silver medal at 55kg, will also not be competing. 

Two-time world champion Yui SUSAKI (JPN) returns to Japan's senior-level lineup for the first time since the 2018 World Championships. (Photo: Gabor Martin)

With the door to the Olympics reopened for Susaki, the Waseda University student will certainly look to use the World Cup as preparation for another possible showdown with Irie at the All-Japan Championships, where she can earn the right to enter the Asian Olympic qualifying tournament in March. 

Susaki is joined on the Japan team at 50kg by Kika KAGATA, who added the U23 world title to the junior crown she previously held, while Ibuki TAMURA fills the other 53kg slot with Okuno.

The other world U23 gold medalists on the squad are Sae NANJO (57kg), Yumeka TANABE (59kg) and Misuzu ENOMOTO (65kg), while silver medalist Saki IGARASHI (55kg) and bronze medalist Mei SHINDO (72kg) are also on the roster. 

Igarashi, Nanjo and 2018 world junior champion Miwa MORIKAWA (62kg) were all members of last year's championship team. 

The others on the team are Akie HANAI (55kg) and Naomi RUIKE (65kg). 

While the World Cup is not as high profile as its individual cousins, it can produce memorable moments. Just ask Saori YOSHIDA. The three-time Olympic and 10-time world champion suffered only three losses in her career to non-Japanese opponents---and two of them came at a World Cup. 

The first was to Marcie VAN DUSEN (USA) in early 2008 in Taiyuan, China, which became her first loss in any competition dating back to December 2001. The second also came at pre-Olympic World Cup, when she was beaten by Valeria ZHOLOBOVA (RUS) in 2012 in the final in Tokyo. 

Even though Japan defeated Russia for the title, the image of Yoshida crying on the podium as the team received its gold medals remains vivid. 

In addition to Japan, China and the United States are the only countries to have walked off with the World Cup trophy. China has captured the title six times, including five in a row between 2007 and 2011, while the U.S. won its lone title in 2003. 

Japan's Team
50kg - Yui SUSAKI, Kika KAGATA
53kg - Haruna OKUNO, Ibuki TAMURA
55kg - Saki IGARASHI, Akie HANAI
57kg - Risako KAWAI, Sae NANJO
59kg - Yuzuka INAGAKI, Yumeka TANABE
62kg - Yukako KAWAI, Miwa MORIKAWA
65kg - Misuzu ENOMOTO, Naomi RUIKE
68kg - Masako FURUICHI, Naruha MATSUYUKI
72kg - Mei SHINDO, Yuka KAGAMI
76kg - Hiroe MINAGAWA, Yasuha MATSUYUKI