TOKYO (November 30) – The Japan Wrestling Federation has confirmed that the men's freestyle team has qualified for next year's World Cup event in Baku.
Japan finished seventh in the men's freestyle team standings at the world championships in September and will be joined by Russia, Iran, the United States, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Belarus, Bulgaria and Turkey for the 10-team dual-meet event May 12-13 in the Azerbaijani capital.
The greco-roman World Cup will be held May 19-20 in Saransk, Russia while the women's World Cup is scheduled for May 26-27 in Tokyo.
Japan last competed in the men's freestyle World Cup in 1998 when it finished sixth out of six teams. Japan has finished third in the men's World Cup on five occasions since the event was first held in 1973.
The World Cup began as a dual-meet competition for the top teams on each continent, but now features the top teams in the rankings of the previous year's world championships.
Individual awards are also handed out at the World Cup and in the past Japanese wrestlers have won in their individual categories. The Japanese winners were Hideaki Tomiyama (57kg in 1978), Toshio Asakura (52kg in 1983) and Mitsuru Sato (52kg in 1985).