KAZAN, Russia (July 11) – Fumitaka MORISHITA (JPN) kicked off the Universiade wrestling competition for Japan with a bronze medal at 55kg in men’s freestyle.
The medal was the first for Japan in men’s freestyle at the Universiade since 1981, when Mitsuru SATO (JPN) and Toshiaki ISHIKAWA (JPN) won gold medals and Hideaki TOMIYAMA (JPN) took a silver in Bucharest.
Wrestling was not staged in subsequent University Games until 2005, when the best the Japanese men could do was a bronze medal in greco-roman from Tsukasa TSURUMAKI (JPN) at 74kg. Japan's best finish in men'f freestyle was a fifth place.
In the bronze medal final at the Ak Bars Wrestling Palace, MORISHITA scored a two-point takedown in the final 10 seconds of the bout to defeat Otari GOGAVA (GEO), 2-2 on criteria. MORISHITA, earlier, lost in the quarterfinals to eventual champion Nariman ISRAPILOV (RUS) before rebounding for the bronze.
Meanwhile, Japan’s other three entries on the first day of competition all made early exits and did not have the chance to wrestle in the consolation rounds. Only 2010 junior world silver medalist Kotaro TANAKA (JPN) was able to post a win.
TANAKA won by technical superiority in his opening bout, but fell in the second round to last year’s world university championships runner-up Semyon RADULOV (UKR) by technical fall.
Naoya AKAGUMA (JPN) lost to European silver medalist Musa MURTAZALIEV (ARM) in the first round, while Tomoyuki OKA (JPN) fell to London 2012 Olympian Jamaladdin MAGOMEDOV (AZE) in his opening bout in the second round.
55kg – MORISHITA, Fumitaka (Bronze, 19 entries)
R1 – df. Steven Takahashi (CAN) by TF, 13-4
R2 – df. Kim Sung-Gwon (KOR), 9-3
R3 – lost to Nariman Israpilov (RUS) by TF, 0-7
c1 – df. Batbold Sodnomdash (MGL), 5-3
F3 – df. Otari Gogava (GEO), 2x-2=big
66kg – TANAKA, Kotaro (10th, 26 entries)
R1 – df. Yuri Poliak (ISR) by TF, 10-2
R2 – lost to Semyon Radulov (UKR), 5-6
84kg – AKAGUMA, Naoya (23rd, 27 entries)
R1 – lost to Musa Murtazaliev (ARM) by TF, 0-7
120kg – OKA, Tomoyuki (16th, 18 entries)
R1 – bye
R2 – lost to Jamaladdin Magomedov (AZE) by TF, 0-8