TOKYO (June 16) – Olympic and world champions Saori Yoshida and Kaori Icho won titles at the Meiji Cup All-Japan Invitational tourney, all but assuring themselves of another trip to the world championships in Budapest this September.
The women's national team committee will announce at a later date their selections for the Japanese team in Budapest. For the men's national team, winners from the national championships in December could secure a ticket with an invitational title.
In the event the All-Japan champ and the invitational champ were different, the world team representative would be decided by a special one-match wrestle-off.
Yoshida, who won her 10th straight world title last September, had a tough go with Kanako Murata in the 55kg finals, but still managed to edge the junior world champ, 6-5, and was named the meet's outstanding wrestler.
Icho, meanwhile, rolled to three technical fall victories at 63kg, including an 8-0 win over Ivan Yarygin Grand Prix runner-up Rio Watari in the final and was presented the outstanding wrestler in the women's events.
In greco-roman, London Olympian Norikatsu Saikawa won handily at 96kg and was the style's outstanding wrestler.
At 66kg, All-Japan Hiroyuki Shimuzu lost in the second round to Olympic bronze medalist at 60kg Ryutaro Matsumoto, but came back in the world team wrestle-off for a win over Hideyuki Otoizumi and his first trip to the world championships.
In men's freestyle, All-Japan runner-up Takahiro Inoue defeated national champ Tomotsugu Ishida in the invitational final and again in the world team wrestle-off for his ticket to Budapest.
National champ Shinya Matsumoto lost in the semifinals at 84kg but rebounded for a win against archrival and invitational winner Atsushi Matsumoto in the world team wrestler off for his fourth trip to the world championships.
London Olympian Sosuke Takatani, who won the invitational title at 74kg the previous day, was named the outstanding wrestler in men's freestyle.
66kg (10 entries)
F1 – Hideyuki Otoizumi df. Shingo Shibata by TF, 1P=2:15 (10-3)
SF – Shibata df. Ryutaro Matsumoto by default, 0:00
SF – Otoizumi df. Kenta Nakai by TF, 1P=2:10 (7-0)
World Team Wrestle-off – Hiroyuki Shimizu df. Otoizumi, 5-2
96kg (11 entries)
F1 – Norikatsu Saikawa df. Yusuke Yamamoto by TF, 2P=0:52 (8-0)
SF – Saikawa df. Takuma Arizono by TF, 1P=1:56 (8-0)
SF – Yamamoto df. Akira Osaka, 7-1
60kg (12 entries)
F1 – Daichi Takatani df. Noriyuki Takatsuka, 11-8
SF – Takatani df. Daichi Morishita by TF, 2P=1:45 (7-0)
SF – Takatsuka df. Masaru Ikeda by TF, 2P=0:32 (7-0)
World Team Wrestle-off – Shogo Maeda df. Takatani by TF, 1P=1:59 (8-0)
66kg (11 entries)
F1 – Takahiro Inoue df. Tomotsugu Ishida, 3-2
SF – Ishida df. Hiroto Noda, 4-0
SF – Inoue df. Kosuke Isokawa by fall, 1P=1:01 (F4-0)
World Team Wrestle-off – Inoue df. Ishida, 4-1
84kg (13 entries)
F1 – Atsushi Matsumoto df. Naoya Akaguma by TF, 2P=2:00 (13-6)
SF – Akaguma df. Shinya Matsumoto, 9-7
SF – A. Matsumoto df. Seiji Suzuki by TF, 1P=2:12 (7-0)
World Team Wrestle-off – S. Matsumoto df. A. Matsumoto by TF, 1P=2:53 (10-5)
55kg (11 entries)
F1 – Saori Yoshida df. Kanako Murata, 6-5
SF – Yoshida df. Chiho Hamada, 8-2
SF – Murata df. Risako Kawai by TF, 1P=1:53 (7-0)
63kg (11 entries)
F1 – Kaori Icho df. Rio Watari by TF, 2P=2:49 (8-0)
SF – Icho df. Kasumi Utada by TF, 1P=2:17 (8-0)
SF – Watari df. Yurika Ito by fall, 1P=1:39 (F8-0)
72kg (7 entries)
F1 – Hiroe Suzuki df. Chiaki Iijima, 3-1
SF – Suzuki df. Tamae Yoshii by fall, 1P=1:18 (F6-0)
SF – Iijima df. Rino Abe, 10-7