ISTANBUL (September 13) – Japanese wrestlers went 0-for-4 on the second day of the senior wrestling world championships and did not get even a sniff of medal or a berth in next year's Olympic Games.
Ryutaro Matsumoto, a greco-roman silver medalist a year ago in Moscow, fell in his opening match at 60kg to Revaz Lashkhi (GEO) despite carrying the attack to the wily European champion. Lashkhi weathered Matsumoto's arm-drag and front headlock attempts to win in par terre with a tight gut wrench and solid defense.
Lashkhi, however, could not get past 2004 Olympic champ Jung Ji-Hyun (KOR) in the round of 16, eliminating Matsumoto from medal contention.
At 84kg, national team newcomer Taichi Oka was welcomed to the world championships by former and eventual world champion Alim Selimov (BLR), who saddled the rookie with an 0-1, 0-1 loss that was more one-sided than the score would indicate.
Oka received a chance in the consolation brackets when Selimov reached the finals, but lost to another experienced wrestler in Janarbek Kenjeev (KGZ), a two-time Asian Games bronze medal winner.
At 120kg, Hirokazu Shinjo could do little against Asia No. 3 Murat Ramonov (KGZ) and was then knocked out of the tourney early when Ramonov fell in the next round to defending world champ Mijain Lopez (CUB).
60kg – MATSUMOTO, Ryutaro (38th, 42 entries)
R1 – bye
R2 – lost to Revaz Lashkhi (GEO), 0-2 (0-4, 0-1)
Matsumoto repeatedly tries to set up a body attack, but cannot get through the European champ's defense. In par terre, Lashkhi locks up an elbow-to-elbow grip and scores with a pair of gut wrenches in the first period and then fights off Matsumoto's attempts to hook up for a waistlock.
Matsumoto was eliminated from medal contention when Lashkhi lost in the next round to former Olympic champ Jung Ji-Hyun (KOR).
84kg – OKA, Taichi (25th, 47 entries)
R1 – lost to Alim Selimov (BLR), 0-2 (0-1, 0-1)
Oka could not get through the tight stance of the former and eventual world champion as both periods were decided in par terre. In the first, Oka was unable to convert from on top and was then rolled over at 1:49 of the second for exposure.
c1 – lost to Janarbek Kenjeev (KGZ), 1-2 (2-0, 0-2, 0-2)
Oka takes the first period on a hands-on-leg blocking penalty, but drops the second when the Asian Games bronze medalist takes points with a headlock. In the third period, Kenjeev scores with a gut wrench for the win.
120kg – SHINJO, Hirokazu (27th, 40 entries)
R1 – lost to Murat Ramonov (KGZ), 0-2 (0-1, 0-2)
Both periods are decided in par terre with Shinjo unable to turn the Asia bronze medal winner in the first and Ramonov getting the gut wrench in the second.
Shinjo was eliminated from medal contention when Ramonov lost to defending champion Mijian Lopez (CUB) in the next round.