NEW DELHI (April 19) – Tomohiro Inoue and Ayano Suzuki bounced back from early losses to claim bronze medals on the second day of the Asian wrestling championships.
Inoue posted a pair of wins at 74kg in greco-roman, but fell 0-2 to London Olympic 66kg champion Kim Hyeon-Woo (KOR) in the semifinals. In the bronze medal final, however, Inoue held on against 2011 Asia junior runner-up Ruslan Tsarev (KGZ) for a 2-1 (1-0, 1-4, 3-0) victory.
The bronze medal was Inoue's first medal in international competition since taking a silver medal in the Asia cadet championships in 2003.
Suzuki, in the meantime, was overwhelmed by newcomer Pak Yong-Mi (PRK) in the second round, but came back with a win in the consolation round and then a 2-1 win over former Asia junior bronze medalist Narangerel Erdenesukh (MGL) in the third-place final.
At 84kg, Taichi Oka fell in the second round to Rustam Assakalov (UZB), the eventual winner and a bronze medalist in the prestigious Ivan Poddubny tourney in January. In the bronze medal final, Oka lost to 2010 Asian Games champion Taleb Nariman Nematpour (IRI), 0-2 (0-1, 1-3), and had to settle for fifth place.
Meanwhile, at 96kg, London Olympian Norikatsu Saikawa lost in his opening bout to defending champion Davoud Gilnirang (IRI), and saw his medal hopes end when Gilnanrang fell in the semifinals.
With the completion of the greco-roman competition, the Japanese squad goes home with a silver and two bronze medals, slightly down from the two silver and one bronze won last year.
Korea won the team title with 58 points, mostly from four champions and a silver medal winner, followed by Iran with 50 points and Kazakhstan at 49. Japan finished fifth in the team standings with 37 points.
74kg – INOUE, Tomohiro (Bronze, 13 entries)
R1 – df. Badr Bakhti (QAT), 2-0 (2-0, 5-0)
R2 – df. Rajbir Chhikara (IND), 2-0 (1-0, 2-0)
SF – lost to Kim Hyeon-Woo (KOR), 0-2 (0-1, 1-2)
F3 – df. Ruslan Tsarev (KGZ), 2-1 (1-0, 1-4, 3-0)
84kg – OKA, Taichi (5th, 12 entries)
R1 – df. Harpreet Singh (IND), 2-1 (0-2, 1-0, 2-0)
R2 – lost to Rustam Assakalov (UZB), 0-2 (0-4, 0-3)
c1 – df. Lin Ming-hsuan (TPE), 2-0 (1-0, 4-0)
F3 – lost to Taleb Nariman Nematpour (IRI), 0-2 (0-1, 1-3)
96kg – SAIKAWA, Norikatsu (9th, 11 entries)
R1 – lost to Davoud Gilnirang (IRI), 0-2 (0-3, 1-4)
48kg – SUZUKI, Ayano (Bronze, 10 entries)
R1 – df. Priyanka Singh (IND), 2-1 (1-6, 3-0, 3-1)
R2 – lost to Pak Yong-Mi (PRK), 0-2 (0-4, 1-5)
c1 – df. Lo Wen-ling (TPE) by fall, 1P (F4-0)
F3 – df. Narangerel Edenesukh (MGL), 2-1 (1-0, 0-1, 6-0)