TOKYO (December 23) – World champion Eri TOSAKA scored a takedown in the closing seconds of the 53kg final to defeat junior world champion Nanami IRIE on criteria and claim her fourth straight national title at the All-Japan wrestling championships.
Tosaka, who won her third world title at 48kg in September, came from behind twice in the final at Yoyogi National Gymnasium – with a single-leg takedown at the end of the first period and a single-leg to go-behind in the second, forcing Irie’s knee to the mat as the final seconds ticked away.
For her victory, Tosaka received the Emperor’s Cup as Japan’s most outstanding wrestler for 2015 and secured her ticket to the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, pending approval by the Japanese Olympic Committee.
Meanwhile, 53kg world champion Saori YOSHIDA sliced through the field at 55kg and defeated 2013 World University Games gold medalist Hikari SUGAWARA by technical fall in the final for 13th All-Japan title.
At 75kg, Asian Games gold medalist at 63kg Rio WATARI moved up two categories for her second All-Japan crown and a chance to qualify as Japan’s sixth entry in the women’s events at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.
In freestyle, 2014 world silver medalist Sosuke TAKATANI blitzed three opponents by technical fall, including Asian championships runner-up Daisuke SHIMADA, for his fifth straight All-Japan crown.
At 57kg, junior world team member Rei HIGUCHI stopped defending champion Fumitaka MORISHITA, 11-4, in the quarterfinals and cruised to his first All-Japan title after world team member Yuki TAKAHASHI also tumbled in the quarters.
In the final greco-roman event of the meet, Hungarian Open winner Shinobu OTA scored an early duck-under takedown and made it stand for a 2-0 win over Asian Games gold medalist Kohei HASEGAWA and his first All-Japan title.
With the conclusion of the championships, outstanding wrestler trophies by style went to Takatani (freestyle), Ota (greco-roman) and Kaori ICHO, who won the women’s 58kg title on the second day of the All-Japan meet.
57kg (21 entries)
F1 – Rei HIGUCHI df. Yosuke KAWANO, 8-1
(Higuchi wins 1st All-Japan title)
F3 – Rinya NAKAMURA df. Yasuhiro MORITA by TF, 10-0, 0:44
74kg (11 entries)
F1 – Sosuke TAKATANI df. Daisuke SHIMADA by TF, 10-0, 3:00
(Takatani wins 5th straight, 5th overall All-Japan title)
F3 – Kohei KITAMURA df. Ken HOSAKA, 4-3
59kg (17 entries)
F1 – Shinobu OTA df. Kohei HASEGAWA, 2-0
(Ota wins 1st All-Japan title)
F3 – Shota TANOKURA df. Masuto KAWANA by TF, 9-0, 2:11
53kg (8 entries)
F1 – Eri TOSAKA df. Nanami IRIE, 4-4=last
(Tosaka wins 4th straight, 4th overall All-Japan title)
F3 – Mayu MUKAIDA df. Arisa TANAKA by TF, 10-0, 2:12
55kg (9 entries)
F1 – Saori YOSHIDA df. Hikari SUGAWARA by TF, 10-0, 5:15
(Yoshida wins 3rd straight, 13th overall All-Japan title)
F3 – Chiho HAMADA df. Anri KIMURA, 5-2
75kg (11 entries)
F1 – Rio WATARI df. Kayoko KUDO, 6-5
(Watari wins 2nd All-Japan title, 1st in two years)
F3 – Masako FURUICHI df. Azumi BABA by default, 0:00