ISTANBUL (January 28-29) – Asian Games gold medalist Kohei Hasegawa and 2010 world runner-up Ryutaro Matsumoto each bagged a bronze medal at the Vehbi Emre international greco-roman wrestling tournament.
Hasegawa saddled world silver medalist Elbek Tazhyiev with (BLR) a loss in the first round at 55kg and edged past World Cup winner Askhat Kudaibergenov (KAZ) in the third. Hasegawa, however, could not get past Mingiyan Semenov (RUS), winner of this year’s prestigious Ivan Podubbny tourney, in the semifinals.
Hasegawa rebounded for the bronze medal — his first medal in international competition since winning the 2010 Asian Games.
Meanwhile, Ryutaro Matsumoto opened at 60kg with a win against Beijing Olympic bronze medalist Nurbakyt Tengizbayev (KAZ) but, like Hasegawa, fell in the semifinals. Matsumoto followed his loss to Ivan Podubbny runner-up Ibragim Labazanov (RUS) with a come-from-behind triumph over Sanjarbek Jumashev (UZB).
Japan’s other entries in this Golden Grand Prix tourney, Masayuki Amano (84kg) and Norikatsu Saikawa (96kg), each posted a win and a loss but did not have a chance to wrestler in the consolation brackets.
55kg – HASEGAWA, Kohei (3rd, 20 entries)
R1 – df. Elbek Tazhyiev (BLR), 2-0 (3-0, 3-0)
Hasegawa scores an easy win over the world No. 2 with an arm throw on each side of the break.
R2 – df. Saman Abdoulvali (IRI), 2-1 (3-0, 0-1, 1-0)
Hasegawa opens the first period with an arm throw and then trades defensive points with the junior world runner-up in the second and third for the win.
R3 – df. Askhat Kudaibergenov (KAZ), 2-1 (1-0, 0-2, 4-0)
Hasegawa defends in the first and fails to turn the 2009 Asian bronze medalist in the second. Hasegawa scores with a body tackle in the third and follows with two quick gut wrenches for the win.
SF – lost to Mingiyan Semenov (RUS), 1-2 (0-1, 1-0, 1-5)
Hasegawa is lifted from par terre in the first, but answers with a gut wrench in the second. Hasegawa scored first with a body tackle in third period, but was countered with a roll for a point which was upheld in a challenge. Hasegawa’s late back-arching throw attempt misfired as the reigning Ivan Poddubny champ was awarded three points and the win.
F3 – df. Goderdzi Davitadze (GEO), 2-0 (1-0, 1-0)
Hasegawa defends in par terre to take the first period, and then gut wrenches in the second for the win.
60kg – MATSUMOTO, Ryutaro (3rd, 20 entries)
R1 – bye
R2 – df. Nurbakyt Tengizbayev (KAZ), 2-1 (0-1, 1-0, 3-0)
Matsumoto surrenders the first period when he cannot score in par terre, but comes back for the second period with a force-out. In the third period, Matsumoto leads with another force-out then blocks an attempted throw for the Beijing Olympic bronze medalist for the win.
R3 – df. Tufenk Ugur (TUR), 2-0 (1-0, 3-0)
Matsumoto takes the first period with strong par terre defense, then drops his opponent out of bounds on his back for the second.
SF – lost to Ibragim Labazanov (RUS), 0-2 (0-1, 0-6)
Matsumoto lets his opponent escape from par terre in the first period and gives up big points on a counter throw going out of bounds and a body tackle from the front headlock position.
F3 – df. Sanjarbek Jumashev (UZB), 2-1 (0-6, 3-0, 3-0)
Matsumoto is countered twice again while being the aggressor and surrenders the first period on technical superiority. The 2010 world runner-up, however, regroups in the second with a force-out and a counter to a throw, then wins with a single force-out in the third.
84kg – AMANO, Masayuki (11th, 21 entries)
R1 – df. Joni Minadze (GEO), 2-1 (0-1, 2-1, 1-0)
Amano gives up the first period on a defensive point, but takes the second with a force-out and last body tackle. In the third period, Amano scores with a lift for the win.
R2 – lost to Javid Hamzatov (BLR), 0-2 (0-1, 0-1)
Amano gives a front headlock and go-behind in the first period and a defensive point in the second.
96kg – SAIKAWA, Norikatsu (9th, 18 entries)
R1 – bye
R2 – df. K. Vourdanos (GRE), 2-0 (1-0, 6-0)
Saikawa defends in the first period for a point, then gets rolling in the second with force-outs and snap-downs.
R3 – lost to Daigoro Timoncini (ITA), 0-2 (0-5, 0-3)
Saikawa is rolled over for exposure three times in the first period, then misfires on his own gut wrench attempt in the second and is reversed.