BAKU (November 22-24) – Fumitaka MORISHITA defeated two of Europe’s top bantamweight wrestlers to win the 55kg crown in men’s freestyle on the final day of the Golden Grand Prix Final in Baku.
MORISHITA threw European champion Giorgi EDISHERASHVILI (GEO) twice for a technical fall in the semifinals and then came back with 5-3 decision against European bronze medalist Yashar ALIEV (AZE) for his first triumph in international competition.
MORISHITA, who pocketed $10,000 for his win, became the third Japanese male to win in the GGP Final after Kohei HASEGAWA (55kg) in greco-roman in 2009 and Shinichi YUMOTO (FS, 55kg) in 2010.
Also in men’s freestyle, Masakazu KAMOI did not have an answer for London 2012 silver medalist Vladimir KHINCHEGASHVILI (GEO) and lost by technical fall in his opening bout and did not the chance to wrestle in the consolation bracket.
In women’s freestyle, Yuka YAGO and Mareka SHIDOCHI won gold medals while Risako KAWAI and Hiroe SUZUKI had to settle for second after losses in the finals to world silver medalists.
Two-time Asia junior champion YAGO bumped off European champion Valeriya CHEPSARAKOVA (RUS) and runner-up Yana STADNIK (GBR) on her way to the title at 48kg, while former junior world champ SHIDOCHI edged world silver medalist Erdennechimeg SUMIYA (MGL) for the 51kg crown.
Junior world champ KAWAI was pinned by world No.2 Sofia MATTSSON (SWE) in the 55kg final and Asia champion SUZUKI was shut out by London 2012 gold medalist and world runner-up Natalia VOROBIEVA (RUS) in the 72kg final.
Meanwhile, Kazuki SAKAGAMI (59kg) and Rio WATARI (63kg) claimed third-place finishes, while Yoshiko INOUE (67kg) had to settle for a fifth place.
In greco-roman on the opening day of the tourney, world team member Shota TANOKURA and All-Japan runner-up Hayanobu SHIMIZU both lost to 2011 junior world silver medalist Zhanserik SARSENBAEV (KAZ) in the opening rounds and did not get a chance at the consolation bracket.
Results of bouts involving Japanese entries:
55kg – MORISHITA, Fumitaka (1st, 9 entries)
R1 – bye R2 – df. Bazar ZHALSAPOV (RUS) by fall, 5:07 (11-2)
SF – df. Giorgi EDISHERASHVILI (GEO) by TF, 7-0=0:41
F1 – df. Yashar ALIEV (AZE), 5-3
60kg – KAMOI, Masakazu (13th, 14 entries)
R1 – lost to Vladimir KHINCHEGASHVILI (GEO) by TF, 2-10=1P
48kg – YAGO, Yuka (1st, 11 entries)
R1 – bye R2 – df. Yana STADNIK (GBR) by TF, 7-0=1P
SF – df. Valeriya CHEPSARAKOVA (RUS), 5-2
F1 – df. Victoria ANTHONY (USA) by TF, 9-2=1P
51kg – SHIDOCHI, Mareka (1st, 6 entries)
R1 – df. Tatyana AMANZHOL-BAKATYUK (KAZ), 5-4
SF – df. Yuliya BLAHINYA (UKR), 5-3
F1 – df. Erdennechimeg SUMIYA (MGL), 8-5
55kg – KAWAI, Risako (2nd, 8 entries)
R1 – df. Yarina DUBOVSKA (AZE) by TF, 9-0=1P
SF – df. Iryna HUSYAK (UKR) by TF, 9-0=1P
F1 – lost to Sofia MATTSSON (SWE) by fall, 2:40 (0-6)
59kg – SAKAGAMI, Kazuki (3rd, 7 entries)
R1 – df. Juliya SATYMBEKOVA (KAZ) by fall
SF – lost to Yuliya RATKEVICH (AZE), 6-7
F3 – No match by pairing rules
63kg – WATARI, Rio (3rd, 7 entries)
R1 – df. Battsetseg SORONZONBOLD (MGL), 8-4
SF – lost to Anastasija GRIGORJEVA (LAT) by TF, 2-9
F3 – df. Raissa MINAKOVA (KAZ) by TF, 7-0
67kg – INOUE, Yoshiko (5th, 11 entries)
R1 – df. Tumentsetseg SHARKUU (MGL), 4-0
R2 – df. Gozal ZUTOVA (AZE) by TF, 9-2
SF – lost to Elena PIROZHKOVA (USA), 0-2
F3 – lost to Veronica CARLSON (USA), by injury default, (4-5)
72kg – SUZUKI, Hiroe (2nd, 8 entries)
R1 – df. Elmira SYZDYKOVA (KAZ) by TF, 8-0
SF – df. Odonchimeg BADRAKH (MGL), 2-1
F1 – lost to Natalia VOROBIEVA (RUS), 0-4
55kg – SHIMIZU, Hayanoba (8th, 18 entries)
R1 – df. Harun BOZOGLU (TUR) by TF, 9-0
R2 – lost to Zhanserik SARSENBAEV (KAZ), 2-3
55kg – TANOKURA, Shota (13th, 18 entries)
R1 – lost to Zhanserik SARSENBAEV (KAZ) by fall, 1P (0-3)