ASTANA, Kazakhstan (March 30) – Shinichi Yumoto and Sosuke Takatani secured berths in this summer’s London 2012 Olympic Games by advancing to the finals of their respective weight categories on the opening day of the Olympic Games qualification tournament for Asia.
Yumoto advanced to the 55kg final in men’s freestyle and Takatani reached the 74kg final at Daulet Sports Complex for their tickets to London. The top two wrestlers in each weight category qualified.
Japan qualified two weight categories in men’s freestyle, 60kg and 66kg, at the world championships last September. With Yumoto and Takatani, Japan has four weight categories in men’s freestyle qualified for London, surpassing the three categories qualified for the 2008 Games in Beijing.
Yumoto, the 2010 Asia champion, opened with a win over Asia No. 3 Lee Woo-Joo (KOR) and stormed past Tsogtbaatar Damdinbazar (MGL) in the semifinals to earn his trip to London. Yumoto defaulted early in the 55kg final with an aggravated injury to his right knee.
Takatani, meanwhile, pinned Asian Games bronze medalist Lee Yun-Seok (KOR) in his opening bout at 74kg and stopped another Asian Games bronze medal winner Gombodorj Dorvaanchig (MGL) in the semifinals for his trip to London. In the final, however, Takatani came up short against Asia champ Rashid Kurbanov (UZB), seventh at last year’s world championships.
At 84kg, Atsushi Matsumoto was edged in the semifinals by 2009 world champion Zaurbek Sokhiev (UZB) and failed to qualify despite a bronze medal finish.
At 96kg, Takao Isokawa lost two bouts and had to settle for fifth place.
55kg – YUMOTO, Shinichi (2nd, 10 entries)
R1 – df. Lee Woo-Ju (KOR), 2-0 (1-0=2:03, 3-0=2:07)
Yumoto wins the ball draw in both the first and second periods, and converts twice for the win.
R2 – df. Nikolay Noev (TJK), 2-0 (1-0, 3-1)
Yumoto takes the first period with a late single-leg, then scores with a single-leg, ankle-turn combination in the second.
SF – Tsogtbaatar Damdinbazar (MGL), 2-0 (1-0, 6-1)
Yumoto scores with a single-leg midway through the first, and then roars back for six points after surrendering a force-out early in the second.
F1 – lost to Amit Kumar (IND) by injury default, 1P=0:05 (0-0)
Yumoto, troubled with a strained ligament in his right knee throughout the tourney, is forced to default in the final.
74kg – TAKATANI, Sosuke (2nd, 12 entries)
R1 – bye
R2 – df. Lee Yun-Seok (KOR) by fall, 1P=1:49 (F5-0)
Takatani converts from a front headlock and presses for the fall against the Asian Games bronze medalist.
SF – df. Gombodorj Dorvaanchig (MGL), 2-1 (3-5, 4-0, 4-1)
Takatani narrowly avoids being pinned by the other Asian Games bronze medalist in the first period but storms back with a nearfall of his own in the second. Takatani was pushed out to start the third, but gets a 2-point takedown plus a point from Mongolia’s failed challenge on his way to a 4-1 score.
F1 – lost to Rashid Kurbanov (UZB), 1-2 (0-1, 2-1, 0-2)
Takatani drops the first period on a late takedown, but rallies back in the second with a force-out and a takedown. In the third, Takatani loses an early scramble and then is forced out late by last year’s Asia champion.
84kg – MATSUMOTO, Atsushi (3rd, 11 entries)
R1 – bye
R2 – df. Aibek Usupov (KGZ) by fall, 2P=0:58 (1x-1, F2-0)
Matsumoto takes the first period with a late takedown attempt to force-out, then moves from a front headlock to a fall.
SF – lost to Zaurbek Sokhiev (UZB), 2-0 (0-1=2:03, 2-3)
Matsumoto cannot defend in the clinch in the first period, then is rolled to his back for three points while trying to spin behind the 2009 world champion.
F3 – df. Uitumen Orgdool (MGL), 2-1 (0-6=0:32, 1x-1=last, 3-2)
Matsumoto is dropped to his back in the first period and is blitzed in the first period. He gives up the first point in the second period, but scores later with a force-out to even the periods. In a seesaw third, Matsumoto scores a force-out at 1:39 for the win.
96kg – ISOKAWA, Takao (5th, 8 entries)
R1 – lost to Kurban Kurbanov (UZB), 0-2 (0-2, 0-1)
Isokawa appears to have a point from the clinch in the first period, but is denied. Officials wave off a Japanese challenge, making the period score 0-2. Isokawa surrenders a late point in the second to decide the match.
F3 – lost to Magomed Musaev (KGZ), 1-2 (1-0, 0-4, 0-2)
Isokawa takes the first period from the clinch, but drops the second on a takedown and gut wrench. Isokawa then gives up a takedown in the final 15 seconds of the third period to decide the bout.