TASHKENT (May 19) – World bronze medalist Yasuhiro Inaba narrowed the gap with 2009 world champ Yang Kyong-Il (PRK) but still had to settle for a silver medal on the opening day of men's freestyle at the Asian wrestling championships.
Inaba, who lost to Yang by technical fall in the semifinals of last November's Asian Games, traded the first two periods of the 55kg final with Yang by 1-0 scores. Yang, however, took control in the third, pulling away for a 5-0 triumph and the gold medal. Yang was later followed by teammate Yang Chun-Song at 66kg as DPR Korea won two of the five weight categories contested at the GTK Uzbekistan arena.
Former world bronze medal winner Noriyuki Takatsuka and 2006 Asian Games silver medalist Takafumi Kojima both fell in their respective bronze medal matches 0-1, 0-1 and had to settle for fifth place. Takatsuka was edged by Ri Jong-Myong (PRK), a fifth-place finisher in Guangzhou in November, at 60kg. Kojima, who lost to Yang Chun-Song in the quarterfinals at 66kg, let former Russian junior hope Inokenti Inokentyev (KGZ) slip by in the bronze medal match.
Japan's other entries on the first day of competition, Ryuta Takahashi (74kg) and Shinya Matsumoto (84kg), both lost in the quarterfinals and did get a chance to wrestle in repechage.
In addition to the two champions from DPR Korea, up-and-coming Dauren Zhumagaziev (KAZ), a bronze medalist last year, won at 60kg; Russian import Rashid Kurbanov (UZB) won at 74kg for the home team; and Takhti Cup winner Ehsan Amini (IRI) took the final gold of the day at 84kg for Iran.
The final two categories in men's freestyle and the three lightest categories in women's freestyle are scheduled for the second day of competition in Tashkent.
55kg – INABA, Yasuhiro (2nd, 16 entries)
R1 – df. Gavhar Istodakov (TJK) by TF, 2-0 (6-0, 6-0)
R2 – df. Damdinbazar Tsogtbaatar (MGL), 2-0 (1-0, 4-2)
SF – df. Lee Woo-Ju (KOR), 2-1 (0-1, 1-0, 3x-3=last)
F1 – lost to Yang Kyong-Il (PRK), 1-2 (0-1, 1-0, 0-5)
60kg – TAKATSUKA, Noriyuki (5th, 14 entries)
R1 – df. Farkhodi Usmonzosa (TJK), 2-0 (2-0, 4-1)
R2 – df. Bakhram Ermatov (UZB), 2-1 (1-5, 2-0, 2-1)
SF – lost to Mostafa Ghadir Aghajaniozonbalagh (IRI), 1-2 (1-1, 1-0, 0-2)
F3 – lost to Ri Jong-Myong (PRK), 0-2 (0-1, 0-1)
66kg – KOJIMA, Takafumi (5th, 13 entries)
R1 – df. Shaikouni Mohamedokman (SYR), 2-0 (5-0, 3-2)
R2 – lost to Yang Chun-Song (PRK), 1-2 (0-7, 3-2, 0-1)
c1 – df. Zhou Shengyin (CHN), 2-1 (2-2x=last, 4-2, 5-0)
F3 – lost to Inokenti Inokentyev (KGZ), 0-2 (0-1, 0-1)
74kg – TAKAHASHI, Ryuta (8th, 13 entries)
R1 – df. Adnan Mazenkdane (SYR), 2-0 (2-0, 1-0)
R2 – lost to Jo Kum-Chol (PRK), 0-2 (0-1, 0-2)
(Takahashi eliminated from medal contention when Jo lost in semifinals)
84kg – MATSUMOTO, Shinya (10th, 10 entries)
R1 – bye
R2 – lost to Yusup Abdusalomov (TJK), 0-2 (0-3, 0-6)
(Matsumoto eliminated from medal contetion when Adbusalomov lost in semifinals)