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JAPAN WRESTLING FEDERATION
日本レスリング協会公式サイト
2023.12.05

Entries announced for Emperor’s Cup as quest for Paris resumes

 

The entries for the Emperor’s Cup All-Japan Championships, to be held Dec. 21-24 at Tokyo’s Yoyogi No. 2 Gym, were announced Monday. The tournament will also serve as a selection meet for the Asian and Final World Olympic qualifiers to be held next spring, in weight classes in which Japan has not already secured berths at the 2024 Paris Olympics.

As expected, none of the nine wrestlers who have already qualified for the 2024 Paris Olympics by winning a medal at the World Championships last September in Serbia are entered. That group includes Yui SUSAKI, who will abdicate the national throne at women’s 50kg as she prepares to defend her Olympic title in Paris.

The spotlight will be shining brightest on the women’s 68kg division, the only women’s weight class in which the Olympic berth remains unfilled. Ami ISHII earned the quota for Japan in Serbia by placing fifth, but came up short of a medal.

Defending champion Ami ISHII, who secured the Paris Olympic berth at women’s 68kg by placing fifth at the World Championships, will aim to fill the spot herself with a victory at the Emperor’s Cup.

That opened the door for another wrestler to snatch the 68kg ticket to Paris. Ishii can earn it outright by winning the title at the Emperor’s Cup. If Ishii loses, she and the champion will meet in a playoff at a date to be determined early next year.

Ishii will have no shortage of formidable competition looking to take advantage of the opportunity for another shot at making it to the Olympics. The field includes Miwa MORIKAWA, the 2022 world champion at 65kg who won a bronze medal at 72kg this year; Nonoka OZAKI, this year’s 65kg world champion; Yukako KAWAI, the Tokyo Olympic champion at 62kg; Masako FURUICHI, the 2021 world champion at 72kg; and Rin MIYAJI, the 2021 world silver medalist at 68kg.

In each of the men’s styles, Japan secured two Olympic berths with medal-winning performances in Serbia — at 57kg and 74kg in freestyle and 60kg and 77kg in Greco.

The most noticeable weight class of the eight still up for grabs is freestyle 65kg, in which Olympic champion Takuto OTOGURO is back at the starting line after coming up empty in Serbia as he battled a foot injury. His competition at the Emperor’s Cup will likely come from Asian Games 57kg champion Toshihiro HASEGAWA and 18-year-old high schooler Rin SAKAMOTO, the 61kg champion at the Meiji Cup last June.

The Greco-Roman weight class to watch will be 67kg, which could see a clash between Asian bronze medalist Kyotaro SOGABE and Asian Games champion Katsuaki ENDO. Also in the mix will be Taishi NARIKUNI, the world freestyle 70kg champion in 2022 who switched to Greco. He missed the Emperor’s Cup last year due to injury, but placed third at the Meiji Cup.

–Translation by Ken Marantz







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