Inoue Gives Japan 2nd Win over Olympic Champ on Final Day of Asian OG Qualifier

By William May

ASTANA (March 20) – The Asian Olympic Games qualifying tourney opened with a bang three days ago with a lesser-known Japanese wrestler upsetting a reigning Olympic champion.

Lightning struck again Sunday as Tomohiro INOUE (JPN) shocked London 2012 gold medalist Omid NOROOZI (IRI) with a 3-3 last-point triumph in the closing seconds of their 66kg Greco-Roman gold medal final.

Inoue converted in par terre with a gut wrench to close the first period with a 2-0 lead.  Noroozi forced him into par terre midway through the second and then arched him over for a 3-2 lead.

“I knew that we had a minute left to wrestle, so I went after him, kept the pressure on him and he stepped out with only five seconds left,” Inoue said after the match. “I knew it would a tough match, so I’m happy and surprised with the win.”

On Friday, Shinobu OTA (JPN) stunned world and Olympic champion Hamid SORYAN (IRI) in their opening bout at 59kg in Greco-Roman on his way to qualifying Japan for Rio 2016.

Ota’s victory was one of three titles won by Japan on the opening day of the tourney at Daulet Sports Complex. It might have also been an inspiration to Inoue, Ota’s “sempai” -- a person more senior in Japanese businesses or schools, such as Nippon Sports Sciences University.

According to one reporter, as Inoue was preparing for Saturday’s final, the younger and often comical Ota playfully reminded his sempai, “You know, I beat Hamid Soryan” – as if to say “I did it, you can do it, too.”

Earlier in the day, Inoue’s victory in the semifinals gave Japan its fifth berth at Rio 2016 Olympic Games to go along with the five the Japanese women won at the world championships last September in Las Vegas.

Host Kazakhstan advanced six wrestlers into the semifinals on the final day of competition and came away with four tickets for a total of nine won over the last three days and 12 overall – with two world qualifiers coming up in April and May.

Former world silver medalist Zhuldyz ESHIMOVA (KAZ) was the only winner for Kazakhstan on Sunday evening, scoring a takedown at 5:29 to edge VU Thi Hang (VIE), 3-2, at 48kg.

Vu joins NGUYEN Thi Lua (VIE) as the second wrestler from Vietnam to earn a berth for their country in the wrestling competition in Rio.

WANG Xiaoqian (CHN) and XIAO Di (CHN) grabbed two more tickets for China on Sunday to join Japan as the second most successful countries at the tournament after Kazakhstan. Kyrgyzstan did not win any tickets on Sunday after bagging four in the first two days.

Iran, meanwhile, secured their only two berths on Sunday via Noroozi and London 2012 bronze medalist Komeil GHASEMI (IRI) at 125kg, where he defeated local favorite Daulet SHABANBAY (KAZ) in the tournament’s finale.

Iran now has a total of 10 tickets for the men’s events at Rio 2016 with the only gaps left remaining at 59kg and 130kg in Greco-Roman.

-- Results --


86kg (10 entries)
Gold – ORGODOL Uitumen (MGL) df. Aslan KAKHIDZE (KAZ), 7-5
Bronze – Shinya MATSUMOTO (JPN) df. Umidyon ISMANOV (UZB) by Injury Default, 0:02
Bronze – KIM Gwan-Uk (KOR) df. Somveer SOMVEER (IND) by TF, 10-0, 2:24
Semifinal – Aslan KAKHIDZE (KAZ) df. Shinya MATSUMOTO (JPN), 6-3
Semifinal – ORGODOL Uitumen (MGL) df. Somveer SOMVEER (IND) by TF, 10-0, 3:30

125kg (11 entries)
Gold – Komeil GHASEMI (IRI) df. Daulet SHABANBAY (KAZ) by TF, 11-0, 5:24
Bronze – Aiaal LAZAREV (KGZ) df. Farkho ANAKULOV (TJK) by Fall, 5:18 (10-5)
Bronze – DENG Zhiwei (CHN) df. NAM Kyong-Jin (KOR) by TF, 12-1, 5:49
Semifinal – Komeil GHASEMI (IRI) df. DENG Zhiwei (CHN) by Fall, 2:26 (3-0)
Semifinal – Daulet SHABANBAY (KAZ) df. Aiaal LAZAREV (KGZ), 10-8

Women's Wrestling

48kg (8 entries)
Gold – Zhuldyz ESHIMOVA (KAZ) df. VU Thi Hang (VIE), 3-2
Bronze – LEE Yu-Mi (KOR) df. SO Sim-Hyang (PRK), 7-2
Bronze – Vinesh VINESH (IND) df. Dauletbike YAKSHIMUROVA (UZB) by TF, 10-0, 6:00
Semifinal – Zhuldyz ESHIMOVA (KAZ) df. Vinesh VINESH (IND), 5-4
Semifinal – VU Thi Hang (VIE) df. SO Sim-Hyang (PRK), 3-2

63kg (6 entries)
Gold – WANG Xiaoqian (CHN) df. Ekaterina LARIONOVA (KAZ), 6-2
Bronze – KIM Ran-Mi (PRK)
Bronze – Anita ANITA (IND) df. Nilufar GADAEVA (UZB) by TF, 10-0, 3:59
Semifinal – WANG Xiaoqian (CHN) df. KIM Ran-Mi (PRK) by TF, 11-0, 3:51
Semifinal – Ekaterina LARIONOVA (KAZ) df. Anita ANITA (IND), 8-2


66kg (9 entries)
Gold – Tomohiro INOUE (JPN) df. Omid NOROOZI (IRI), 3-3, last point
Bronze – Magomed CHUHALOV (KAZ) df. PANG Jin-Chol (PRK) by TF, 8-0, 2:58
Bronze – Ravinder RAVINDER (IND) df. Didar AMMANAZAROV (TKM), 10-5
Semifinal – Tomohiro INOUE (JPN) df. Magomed CHUHALOV (KAZ), 2-1
Semifinal – Omid NOROOZI (IRI) df. Ravinder RAVINDER (IND) by TF, 11-1, 6:00

98kg (11 entries)
Gold – XIAO Di (CHN) df. Hardeep HARDEEP (IND) by Injury Default, 0:06
Bronze – Arslan SAPARMAMEDOV (TKM) df. Margulan ASSEMBEKOV (KAZ) by Injury Default, 0:04
Bronze – Jahongir TURDIEV (UZB) df. Mohamed Abdelfattah MOHAMED (BRN) by Disq., 1:30 (0-0)

Semifinal – Hardeep HARDEEP (IND) df. Margulan ASSEMBEKOV (KAZ) by Withdrawal, 11-2, 4:52
Semifinal – XIAO Di (CHN) df. Mohamed Abdelfattah MOHAMED (BRN), 8-4