SHIMABARA, Nagasaki (August 6) – Thoroughbred wrestler Taishi NARIKUNI won at 50kg to become the eighth first-year student to claim a title at the Japanese high school national freestyle championships.
NARUKUNI, the son of two-time women’s world champion Akiko Iijima, also became only the second wrestler to win the high school crown after winning three national junior high school titles in a row. Shinya MATSUMOTO was the first to accomplish the feat in 2000 for Amino high school in Kyoto.
Former Asia cadet champion Rei HIGUCHI, meanwhile, notched four falls and a technical to win the 55kg crown. HIIGUCHI’s second straight national title also earned him the meet’s outstanding wrestling award.
Along with HIGUCHI, three other wrestlers also added the high school national championship crown to their triumphs at the springtime invitational tourney in March. They were Kirin KINOSHITA, Koji TAKEDA and Taira SONODA.
50kg – Taishi NARIKUNI, Inabe Sogo Gakuen (Mie) df. Takuya TAKAHASHI, Kasumigaura (Ibaraki), 8-7
55kg – Rei HIGUCHI, Kasumigaura df. Kazuya KOYANAGI, Nirasaki Kogyo (Yamanashi) by fall, 1:57 (9-0)
60kg – Kenichiro FUMITA, Nirasaki Kogyo df. Shoya SHIMAE, Tosu Kogyo (Saga) by TF, 5:55 (7-2)
66kg – Kirin KINOSHITA, Kanoya Chuo (Kagoshima) df. Koya FURUSAWA, Kyoto Hachiman, 7-5
74kg – Tsubasa ASAI, Kyoto Hachiman df. Shota SHIRAI, Teikyo (Tokyo), 4-3
84kg – Koji TAKEDA, Saitama Sakae df. Ryoma KOJO, Akita Shogyo by TF, 4:09 (10-3)
96kg – Taira SONODA, Hino (Shiga) df. Masaki OKAI, Hojo (Ehime) by fall, 1:14 (8-0)
120kg – Satoshi KAIZUKA, Kasumigaura df. Naoto YAMAGUCHI, Yawatahama Kogyo (Ehime), 2-0
Outstanding Wrestler – Rei HIGUCHI (55kg), Kasumigaura