HACHIMANTAI, Iwate (August 2) – Defending champion Kasumigaura high school defeated pre-tourney favorite Hanabuki Tokuei (Saitama) 4-3 to claim its fourth straight national high school wrestling championships team title.
Kasumigaura's triumph at Hachimantai municipal sports park gymnasium was the Ibaraki school's 22nd team title overall in its 30th trip to the annual midsummer wrestling classic.
The victory for the Ibaraki school also avenged two losses to Hanabuki Tokuei earlier this year in Kanto regional wrestling competition.
In the final, Kasumigaura wrestlers took each of the dual's three 2-1 decisions, including an upset win at 84kg where second-year wrestler Tomohiro Hase edged Hanabuki captain Yasunori Yoshioka.
With the meet already decided in Kasumigaura's favor, Hanabuki ace Koki Yamamoto posted a fall at 120kg for the final 4-3 team tally. For the dual meets, the 96kg category was not contested.
In the quarterfinals, Kasumigaura defeated Akita Shogyo, 5-2, in a replay of last year's championship final and then edged Urasoe Kogyo, spoiling the Okinawa school''s first-ever trip the national semifinals.