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Japan playoff matches

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There will be a new 50kg rep for Japan as Yuki Irie knocked off Yui Susaki(2x defending senior WC) 6-1.  Susaki beat Irie last month 6-2 at All-Japan.  This will be interesting because they are clearly the #1 and #2 in the world at 50kg.  Irie is the only person to have beaten Susaki(3 or 4 times now).  Unless some fluke happens at the World Championships, Irie is going to medal(high chance of winning) and that means that Susaki will not be or have the chance to be on the 2020 team.  I'm interested to see if the Japan Wrestling Federation is really going to keep those 2020 qualification rules.

Risako Kawai beat Kaori Icho 3-3 on criteria

Otoguro also beat Rei Higuchi in the playoff to become of the 2019 rep at 65kg.  Higuchi teched him last month.

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4 hours ago, CA_Wrestler said:

There will be a new 50kg rep for Japan as Yuki Irie knocked off Yui Susaki(2x defending senior WC) 6-1.  Susaki beat Irie last month 6-2 at All-Japan.  This will be interesting because they are clearly the #1 and #2 in the world at 50kg.  Irie is the only person to have beaten Susaki(3 or 4 times now).  Unless some fluke happens at the World Championships, Irie is going to medal(high chance of winning) and that means that Susaki will not be or have the chance to be on the 2020 team.  I'm interested to see if the Japan Wrestling Federation is really going to keep those 2020 qualification rules.

Risako Kawai beat Kaori Icho 3-3 on criteria

Otoguro also beat Rei Higuchi in the playoff to become of the 2019 rep at 65kg.  Higuchi teched him last month.

Wow, interesting to see the back and forth of those competitors.

What was the score of the Otoguro/Higuchi match?

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WOW, what’s the story with Icho?? I feel like that is the biggest story, not to take anything away from Kawai who is a hammer. 

Did she have enough time since returning to the sport to get the rust out? I really hope she doesn’t retire - I want to see her compete in the 2020 Olympics. The coaching scandal stuff will make a huge mess out of whatever process Japan puts in place (or even if they just let it be) for their Olympic team next year.

Edited by pamela

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8 hours ago, pamela said:

WOW, what’s the story with Icho?? I feel like that is the biggest story, not to take anything away from Kawai who is a hammer. 

Did she have enough time since returning to the sport to get the rust out? I really hope she doesn’t retire - I want to see her compete in the 2020 Olympics. The coaching scandal stuff will make a huge mess out of whatever process Japan puts in place (or even if they just let it be) for their Olympic team next year.

I don't know if Icho was back long enough.  She was right there with Kawai, which is crazy after taking 2 years off and not competing.

With the way Japan put in the 2020 qualification criteria- If you're on the 2019 team and medal, that guarantees your 2020 spot, we probably won't see Icho, Susaki, Okuno and a bunch of other world champs from Japan.  This is why I'm wondering if they're going to do a playoff.  Returning medalist has a spot in the final and then the tournament winner battles the returning medalist.

It'll be interesting to see what happens by next year.

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4 hours ago, CA_Wrestler said:

I don't know if Icho was back long enough.  She was right there with Kawai, which is crazy after taking 2 years off and not competing.

With the way Japan put in the 2020 qualification criteria- If you're on the 2019 team and medal, that guarantees your 2020 spot, we probably won't see Icho, Susaki, Okuno and a bunch of other world champs from Japan.  This is why I'm wondering if they're going to do a playoff.  Returning medalist has a spot in the final and then the tournament winner battles the returning medalist.

It'll be interesting to see what happens by next year.

It will look pretty bad for Japan’s wrestling federation if there’s no wrestle-off for the Olympics, assuming Kawai (and the others) medal at Worlds, because Sakae was the reason Icho stepped away and people may speculate that he’s pulling strings behind the scenes to keep Icho locked out - even though he’s banned from the sport. 

It will also be embarrassing if Japan changes up their Olympic team selection process after the fact. 

I’m interested in seeing what Icho and the other wrestlers might do from a PR perspective. Culturally it may be out of the norm to complain publicly about the rules, so maybe they won’t say anything, but it will probably be up to the athletes, coaches, and fans to speak up if they want Japan Wrestling to open up the process. Could be a real mess.

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5 minutes ago, pamela said:

It will look pretty bad for Japan’s wrestling federation if there’s no wrestle-off for the Olympics, assuming Kawai (and the others) medal at Worlds, because Sakae was the reason Icho stepped away and people may speculate that he’s pulling strings behind the scenes to keep Icho locked out - even though he’s banned from the sport. 

It will also be embarrassing if Japan changes up their Olympic team selection process after the fact. 

I’m interested in seeing what Icho and the other wrestlers might do from a PR perspective. Culturally it may be out of the norm to complain publicly about the rules, so maybe they won’t say anything, but it will probably be up to the athletes, coaches, and fans to speak up if they want Japan Wrestling to open up the process. Could be a real mess.

Yeah, it definitely could be a really bad mess.  Especially because what are the 2nd place Japan WTT supposed to do this year and next?  If they're not able to compete for the World championships this year and try to qualify for the 2020 Olympics, that's basically almost a year of competing for nothing besides staying sharp and being on the national team.  I'm sure UWW will probably hold another one of those World Championships that didn't have Olympic weights, but the top wrestlers aren't there for the most part.

Imagine if for some reason Pat Downey medaled this year at 86, Burroughs medals(I'm expecting him to win, Cox medals(I'm expecting him to win)  and Snyder medals(I'm expecting him to win) , then DT would be off the team.  Dake would be also be off the team with no chance to compete at a trial.  That would be insane.

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Susaki/Irie is an interesting selection dilemma:

You have Susaki who is undefeated internationally, 2x world champ (aged 18 and 19) and crushed the field last time out, looks all set to be the star & 'face' of the team for your home Olympics. If I was coach I'd be completely confident of Susaki winning gold in 2020.

...but then there is Irie who must be a bad/awkward match for Susaki as they trade wins in domestic tournaments with Irie coming out on top slightly more often. However Irie has fallen short several times at the global level and has no world titles yet. If I was coach I would not be completely confident of Irie winning gold in 2020.
But, she just won the selection battle again & your own rules say if she even gets a Bronze at worlds this year then she goes to Tokyo... what a headache. ;)

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4 hours ago, ufo said:

Susaki/Irie is an interesting selection dilemma:

You have Susaki who is undefeated internationally, 2x world champ (aged 18 and 19) and crushed the field last time out, looks all set to be the star & 'face' of the team for your home Olympics. If I was coach I'd be completely confident of Susaki winning gold in 2020.

...but then there is Irie who must be a bad/awkward match for Susaki as they trade wins in domestic tournaments with Irie coming out on top slightly more often. However Irie has fallen short several times at the global level and has no world titles yet. If I was coach I would not be completely confident of Irie winning gold in 2020.
But, she just won the selection battle again & your own rules say if she even gets a Bronze at worlds this year then she goes to Tokyo... what a headache. ;)

I'd definitely be more confident with Susaki winning gold in 2020.  Irie is just a bad matchup for Susaki in matches.  Doesn't help that Susaki's elbow isn't 100% from when she dislocated it in practice last year.

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On 7/7/2019 at 10:58 AM, pamela said:

It will look pretty bad for Japan’s wrestling federation if there’s no wrestle-off for the Olympics, assuming Kawai (and the others) medal at Worlds, because Sakae was the reason Icho stepped away and people may speculate that he’s pulling strings behind the scenes to keep Icho locked out - even though he’s banned from the sport. 

It will also be embarrassing if Japan changes up their Olympic team selection process after the fact. 

I’m interested in seeing what Icho and the other wrestlers might do from a PR perspective. Culturally it may be out of the norm to complain publicly about the rules, so maybe they won’t say anything, but it will probably be up to the athletes, coaches, and fans to speak up if they want Japan Wrestling to open up the process. Could be a real mess.

Why would it look bad if they use the criteria they setup in advance and the wrestler who won is rewarded for winning.

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1 hour ago, boconnell said:

Why would it look bad if they use the criteria they setup in advance and the wrestler who won is rewarded for winning.

Aside from being a faulty process that puts world caliber talent out of competition for 2 years in a row (see @CA_Wrestler‘s post above), it will look bad because Icho couldn’t compete during the coaching abuse scandal and because Sakae still has power and clout politically even though he is no longer affiliated with Japan Wrestling, and it’ll reek of stonewalling Icho, which is something he actually has a history of doing.

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1 hour ago, pamela said:

Aside from being a faulty process that puts world caliber talent out of competition for 2 years in a row (see @CA_Wrestler‘s post above), it will look bad because Icho couldn’t compete during the coaching abuse scandal and because Sakae still has power and clout politically even though he is no longer affiliated with Japan Wrestling, and it’ll reek of stonewalling Icho, which is something he actually has a history of doing.

The match was wrestled and nobody is questioning the outcome.  There may have been stonewalling in the past but there is none here.  Just a great wrestler getting beat by another great wrestler.

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1 hour ago, boconnell said:

The match was wrestled and nobody is questioning the outcome.  There may have been stonewalling in the past but there is none here.  Just a great wrestler getting beat by another great wrestler.

Look upthread a bit, Icho and Kawai wrestled but Icho was away from the sport during the coaching scandal with the Japan Wrestling and many, including Icho believe she didn't have enough time to train. And Sakae literally had her blocked from using certain training facilities. That's why it's speculated that he may still have his hands in this current situation. I just don't think it's a straightforward situation as "x beat y, end of story".

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I’m hoping @CA_Wrestler, who seems very knowledgeable about this, can give us an update on Japan’s WFS lineup for the Olympics now that the Asian Championships are over.

USA Wrestling had a nice write-up the other day. The article said that the Kawai sisters have secured their spots on the Olympic team. So is Icho done? Retired? I was really hoping she’d go for #5 on home turf this Olympics but have no idea if she’s still competing.

At 50kg what happened to Irie and Susaki? I don’t know who Igarashi (who won gold at the championships) is, but am wondering how Japan will decide between the three women. It looks like Susaki competed at Juniors last year, but I hope she doesn’t mess around at Jr’s or U23 and wait until 2024 to shoot her shot. She’s ready now.

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On 7/8/2019 at 8:42 PM, pamela said:

Aside from being a faulty process that puts world caliber talent out of competition for 2 years in a row (see @CA_Wrestler‘s post above), it will look bad because Icho couldn’t compete during the coaching abuse scandal and because Sakae still has power and clout politically even though he is no longer affiliated with Japan Wrestling, and it’ll reek of stonewalling Icho, which is something he actually has a history of doing.

Hey pamela,

So as far as the Japanese women's team goes, the Team USA article was correct.  Since both Kawai sisters locked up spots(57kg and 62kg) by medaling at the 2019 WCs.  Unfortunately, that does also mean that Icho is done.  Susaki didn't enter the Asian championships just because she didn't need to.  That's why they sent Igarashi(1x cadet, 2x Jr, 2x U23 WC).  Susaki is going to go to the Asian Olympic qualifier in a few weeks, but here's the major problem....it's supposed to be in Xi'an, China.  I haven't heard anything about them moving the location, but I don't see why they wouldn't.  Who would want to go to China to qualify the weight if there was a chance to catch the Corona virus?  I don't know, that just seems way too risky based on what's been happening there.  I really hope they move it somewhere else.  It would be plain stupid to keep the qualifier there.

 

So....

50kg- Will undoubtedly be Susaki because she'll qualify the weight and I'd pick her as the heavy favorite to win in Tokyo if the Olympics aren't cancelled.  Her toughest competition will be Yun, from China.  Stadnik was thanking the heavens Susaki wasn't there last year.

53kg rep is Mayu Mukaida(2x WC, 2x silver, 1x Jr WC, 2x Cadet WC) who dropped down and beat her college teammate(2x WC, 1x Jr WC, 2x U23WC, 1x Cadet WC)) Haruna Okuno

57kg rep is Risako Kawai (1x Olympic champ, 3x WC, 2x Jr WC, 1x Cadet WC)

62kg rep is Yukako Kawai (1x silver, 1x bronze, 1x U23WC, 1x bronze cadet)

68kg got qualified by Sara Dosho(she's had a bad shoulder injury the past few years) in 2019 by placing 5th, but she lost in the Emperor's cup in Dec.  Miwa Morikawa(1x Jr WC) beat Naruha Matsuyuki(1x Jr WC) 2-1 in the Emperor's Cup final, but Japan sent Matsuyuki to the Asian Championships last week where she placed 2nd.  No idea who the rep is going to be at the Asian qualifier.

76kg rep is going to be Hiroe Minagawa Suzuki(1x Jr WC)

 

Oh yeah....and on the mens side....Rei Higuchi(2016 Olympic silver, I mean robbed) beat Takatani at 57kg to be the Olympic rep.  He dropped down to 57 after not being able to beat Otoguro the past several years and he was actually up to 70kg at one point.

 

That's it!

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Thank you! I was hoping that Japan Wrestling might modify their Olympic Team rules, as posed in the OP but also because there might have been controversy behind Icho’s loss to Kawai. Is Icho retired?

Also I think I saw on the UWW site recently that they are moving the Asian Qualifier next month from China to Kyrgyzstan.

Edited by pamela

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5 hours ago, pamela said:

Thank you! I was hoping that Japan Wrestling might modify their Olympic Team rules, as posed in the OP but also because there might have been controversy behind Icho’s loss to Kawai. Is Icho retired?

Also I think I saw on the UWW site recently that they are moving the Asian Qualifier next month from China to Kyrgyzstan.

I saw Icho coaching at the Emperor's Cup, I can't remember who she was coaching though.  There's not really any point in her competing right now just because she can't really make the team since there's the Asian qualifier, then the Olympics.  If she went up to 62, I think she would beat Yukako Kawai, but that's a big jump even though she's still amazing.  She took 2 years off, didn't compete, then went 1-1 with  Risako Kawai and in the final match of theirs for the 2019 World team spot, Kawai beat Icho 3-3 on criteria. 

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3 hours ago, pamela said:

Oh yah, didn't Icho start her Senior level career wrestling at whatever 62kg used to be (64kg?)?

I am supremely bummed out that she won't be competing in Tokyo. What a treat it would be to see her and Helen go the Olympics!

She started at 63kg, right in there!

Yeah, it would have been great to see both of them go.  I have no doubt Icho would medal, maybe even win it all.  Hopefully Helen medals, but I'm not even sure where she'd stand if she is our rep since she hasn't been competing at all except for several times since her concussions.  Add to that she moved her training to Oklahoma with Okie State, but she won the Pan Am spot against Ragan, so hopefully she's going to be in peak form soon.

 

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Now there is going to be a wrestleoff between 2016 Olympic champ, Sara Dosho and Miwa Morikawa for the Olympic spot at 68kg.

There will also be a wrestleoff for the mens team at 74kg between Mao Okui and Keisuke Otoguro(Takuto's older brother).

 

I had mentioned in some other post a while ago that Japan has had A LOT of siblings making their national/world teams over the years.

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