SZOMBATHELY, Hungary (March 5-6) – Hiroyuki Shimizu took a silver medal and Norikatsu Saikawa added a bronze medal at the Hungary Grand Prix greco-roman wrestling tournament.
Shimizu won four straight matches at 66kg, but could not stop the gut wrench of Asian Games runner-up Darkhan Bayakhmetov (KAZ) in the final and had to settle for the silver medal.
Against Bayakhmetov, Shimizu took the first period with a gut wrench in par terre and had a potential winning point waved off in the second before his opponent was able to rally in the third.
Saikawa, meanwhile, battled world No. 3 Nenad Zugaj (CRO) evenly throughout their second-round match but dropped a narrow 0-1, 1-1 decision.
Saikawa, however, rebounded with three straight wins for third place. His wins included a big come-from-behind victory with a last-minute three-point move against Asian Games bronze medalist Alhazur Ozdiyev (KAZ).
Meanwhile, newly crowned national champion Yuji Okamoto battled hard against Vasif Arzimanov (TUR) in their first round match at 66kg but could not find the key to unlock the world bronze medalist's tight defense. Okamoto was eliminated from medal contention when Arzimanov lost in the next round to Bayakhmetov.
At 74kg, world No. 5 Takehiro Kanakubo fell to Beijing Olympian Seref Tuefenk (TUR) in a second-round bout and did not get a chance in the consolation bracket, while world silver medalist Ryutaro Matsumoto sat out the competition at 60kg with a painful right ankle.
60kg – MATSUMOTO, Ryutaro (did not wrestle)
66kg – SHIMIZU, Hiroyuki (2nd, 25 entries)
R1 – bye
R2 – df. Richard Rigo (SVK), 2-0 (1-0, 3-0)
R3 – df. Glenn Garrison (USA), 2-0 (1-0, 1-0)
SF – df. Balint Korpasi (HUN), 2-0 (1-0, 1-0)
F1 – lost to Darkhan Bayakhmetov (KAZ), 1-2 (2-0, 0-2, 5-0)
66kg – OKAMOTO, Yuji (18th, 25 entries)
R1 – lost to Vasif Arzimanov (TUR), 0-2 (0-1, 0-2)
74kg – KANAKUBO, Takeo (19th, 29 entries)
R1 – bye
R2 – lost to Seref Tuefenk (TUR) by fall, 2P=1:48 (2-2x=last, F0-4)
84kg – SAIKAWA, Norikatsu (3rd, 26 entries)
R1 – df. Laszlo Antunovics (HUN), 2-1 (1-0, 0-1, 2-0)
R2 – df. Nenad Zugaj (CRO), 0-2 (0-1, 1-1x=last)
c1 – df. Zhanarbek Kabdolov (KAZ), 2-1 (1-0, 0-1, 2-0)
c2 – df. Alhazur Ozdiyev (KAZ), 2-1 (0-1, 1-0, 3x-3=big)
F3 – df. Jim Pettersson (SWE), 2-0 (2-0, 1-0)