TOKYO (December 23) – Sosuke Takatani turned away a pair of collegiate challengers for the 74kg title in men's freestyle and was awarded the Emperors Cup as the outstanding wrestler of the All-Japan wrestling national championships.
Takatani was the second of only two members from the 2012 London Olympic Games wrestling team who entered this year's All-Japan championships. Takatani finished 15th in London while Norikatsu Saikawa, who won the All-Japan crown at 96kg in greco-roman a day earlier, was 17th.
On the final day of competition at Yoyogi National Gymnasium, Takatani faced tough challenges from collegiate champions Daisuke Shimada of Kokushikan University and Waseda's Kohei Kitamura but held on for his second straight title at 74.
Meanwhile, Asia bronze medalist Tomotsugu Ishida won the All-Japan title at 66kg when national invitational winner and former Waseda teammate Kotaro Tanaka was upset in the quarterfinals by Takahiro Inoue of Nippon Sport Science University.
In greco-roman, 2011 Asia bronze medalist Hiroyuki Shimizu returned to 66kg after a stint at 74kg this summer and claimed his second national championship title.
At 74kg, Tomohiro Inoue upset 2010 world No.5 and former NSSU teammateTakeo Kanakubo in the semifinals and went on to become the first high school teacher to win an All-Japan title in nine years. Hidekazu Yokoyama of Akita Shogyo high school won the 84kg title in freestyle in 2003.
In women's freestyle, two-time junior world champion Kanako Murata needed to come from behind in the semifinals and finals to claim her first All-Japan championship at 55kg.
Trailing Klippan Ladies winner Risako Kawai in the semifinals, Murata came up with a pin to advance to the final, where she needed the last point in the third period to defeat 2012 junior world champ Chiho Hamada for the title.
With the triumph, Murata became the first wrestler other than Saori Yoshida to win the women's 55kg crown in 11 years. Yoshida won 10 straight All-Japan titles from 2002 to 2011.
Also in women's freestyle, Hikari Sugawara reversed last year's three-period loss to Yu Miyahara in the All-Japan final for the 51kg crown, while Sara Dosho defeated Chiaki Iijima for her second straight title in a rematch of last year's 67kg final.
In addition to the Emperor's Cup going to Takatani, 60kg winner Shogo Maeda was named the outstanding wrestler in men's freestyle, 96kg champ Norikatsu Saikawa in greco-roman and Murata in women's wrestling.
F1 – Hiroyuki Shimizu df. Hideyuki Otoizumi, 2-0 (1-0, 1-0)
(Shimizu wins 2nd All-Japan title, first since 2009)
SF – Otoizumi df. Takumi Yokoyama, 2-0 (1-0, 6-0=1:56)
SF – Shimizu df. Jun Egawa, 2-0 (4x-4=caution, 2-0)
F1 – Tomohiro Inoue df. Noritomo Eto, 2-0 (1-0, 1-0)
(Inoue wins 1st All-Japan title)
SF – Inoue df. Takeo Kanakubo, 2-1 (0-3, 2-0, 2-0)
SF – Eto df. Kosuke Sumi, 2-1 (0-1, 1-0, 2-1)
F1 – Tomotsugu Ishida df. Takahiro Inoue, 2-0 (3-0=2:05, 3-0)
(Ishida wins 1st All-Japan title)
SF – Inoue df. Tsubasa Goto, 2-1 (0-2, 1-0, 2-0)
SF – Ishida df. Ken Hosaka, 2-1 (0-1=2:04, 3-1. 2-0)
Sosuke Takatani df. Kohei Kitamura, 2-0 (1x-1=last, 1x-1=last)
(Takatani wins 2nd consecutive All-Japan title)
SF – Takatani df. Daisuke Shimada, 2-0 (2-0, 2-1)
SF – Kitamura df. Ryoichi Yamanaka, 2-1 (0-1, 2-0, 2-0)
F1 – Hikari Sugawara df. Yu Miyahara, 2-1 (0-3, 3-2, 3-0=2:01)
(Sugawara wins 1st All-Japan title)
SF – Miyahara df. Mareka Shidochi, 2-0 (1-0=2:02, 1-0)
SF – Sugawara df. Nanami Irie, 2-1 (1-0, 1-1x=last, 3-1)
F1 – Kanako Murata df. Chiho Hamada, 2-1 (2-0, 0-2, 1x-1=last)
(Murata wins 1st All-Japan title)
SF – Murata df. Risako Kawai by fall, 3P=1:16 (3-0, 0-4, F2-5)
SF – Hamada df. Katsumi Sakagami, 2-1 (0-1,1-0=2:03, 1-0)
F1 – Sara Dosho df. Chiaki Iijima, 2-0 (1-0, 2-0)
(Dosho wins 2nd consecutive All-Japan title)
SF – Iijima df. Yoshiko Inoue, 2-1 (1-0, 0-1, 2-0)
SF – Dosho df. Masako Furuichi, 2-0 (3-0, 2-0)