Japan lineup announced for Freestyle Wrestling World Cup in Iowa City, Iowa, April 7-8

By Gary Abbott, USA Wrestling | March 20, 2018, 5:08 p.m. (ET)
Yuki Takahashi, shown at the 2017 World Championships in Paris, is a World champion and top star on Japan team at the World Cup. Photo by Tony Rotundo, Wrestlers Are Warriors.

The wrestling federation of Japan has provided its lineup for the 2018 Men’s Freestyle Wrestling World Cup at Carver-Hawkeye Arena in Iowa City, Iowa April 7-8.

The World Cup is the annual international dual meet championships, and will feature the top eight men’s freestyle wrestling teams in the world.

Leading the Japanese team is 2017 World champion Yuki Takahashi at 57 kg/125.5 lbs. Takahashi was also a 2017 Asian champion, and captured a Youth Olympic Games gold medal in 2010.

Two other past Senior World medalists are on the Japan roster. Two-time Olympian Sohsuke Takatani, a 2014 World silver medalist, will compete at 79 kg/174 lbs. Takatani was seventh in the 2016 Olympic Games.

Yuhi Fujinami, a 2017 World bronze medalist, will compete at 70 kg. Fujinami also won a bronze medal at the 2016 Junior World Championships.

The Japanese team is also loaded with past age-group World medalists. Rinya Nakamura, a 2017 U23 World champion, is set for 61 kg. Kazuya Koyanagi, who will also compete at 61 kg, was a 2013 Cadet World champion in Greco-Roman. Also competing is 2015 Cadet World champion Takuto Otoguro at 65 kg.

Another past age-group World medalists scheduled to compete in Iowa City are Daichi Takatani at 65 kg, who has World bronze medals as both a Cadet and a Junior. Other age-group World medalists are 2012 Cadet World bronze medalist Keisuke Otoguro at 70 kg, 2008 Junior bronze medalist Nobuyoshi Arakida at 125 kg and 2012 Cadet World bronze medalist Shota Shirai at 86 kg.

A total of 10 athletes on the Japanese lineup are past Senior World Team members, giving this squad considerable experience at the highest level.

Japan has drawn into Pool A against the nations of the USA, Georgia, and Iran. Pool B consists of teams from Russia, Azerbaijan, Cuba, and Kazakhstan.

Ticket opportunities for the World Cup include a Gold all-session package ($225), a Black all-session package ($150), and standard all-session tickets ($75/$50). Tickets are now available on the University of Iowa Athletics website.

Visit worldcupiowacity.com for more information on the event.

Japan Freestyle World Cup Team Roster
57 kg/125.5 lbs. – Yuki Takahashi
61 kg/134 lbs. – Kazuya Koyanagi
61 kg/134 lbs. – Rinya Nakamura
65 kg/143 lbs. – Daichi Takatani
65 kg/143 lbs. – Takuto Otoguro
70 kg/154 lbs. – Keisuke Otoguro
70 kg/154 lbs. – Kirin Kinoshita
74 kg/163 lbs. – Ken Hosaka
74 kg/163 lbs. – Yuhi Fujinami
79 kg/174 lbs. – Sohsuke Takatani
86 kg/189 lbs. – Shota Shirai
86 kg/189 lbs. – Masao Matsusaka
92kg/203 lbs. – Takashi Ishiguro
97 kg/213 lbs. – Takeshi Yamaguchi
97 kg/213 lbs. – Taira Sonoda
125 kg/275 lbs. – Nobuyoshi Arakida
125 kg/275 lbs. – Taiki Yamamoto

Japan World Cup bios

57 kg/126 lbs. – Yuki Takahashi

2017 World champion… 2017 Asian champion… Fifth at 2014 World Championships… Ninth at 2015 World Championships… 2010 Youth Olympic Games champion… Second at 2012 Junior Asian Championship… Third at 2016 Golden Grand Prix (Azerbaijan)… 2015 Waclaw Ziolkowski Memorial champion (Poland)…Second at 2014 Waclaw Ziolkowski Memorial (Poland)… Third at 2014 Yasar Dogu… Born November 29, 1993… Age: 24

61 kg/134 lbs. – Kazuya Koyanagi
Second at 2018 Asian Championship…2013 Greco-Roman Cadet World champion… Third at the 2017 Asian Indoor Games…

61 kg/134 lbs. – Rinya Nakamura
2017 U23 World champion… Fifth at the 2017 World Championships… Third at 2011 Cadet World Championships… Second at 2015 Grand Prix of Spain… Ninth at 2017 Dan Kolov – Nikola Petrov Tournament (Bulgaria)… Born March 23, 1995… Age: 23

65 kg/143 lbs. – Daichi Takatani
Third at 2014 Junior World Championships… Seventh at 2014 World Championships… Two-time Senior World Team member…. Third at 2011 Cadet World Championships… Second at 2018 Asian Championships… Second at 2017 Asian Indoor Games… 2016 Dmitiri Korkin Tournament champion (Russia)… Seventh at 2014 Yasar Dogu (Turkey)… Fifth at 2014 Takhti Cup (Iran)… Born November 22, 1994… Age: 23

65 kg/143 lbs. – Takuto Otoguro
2015 Cadet World champion… 2014 Cadet Asian champion… Third at 2013 Cadet World Championships…

70 kg/154 lbs. – Keisuke Otoguro
Eighth at 2018 Asian Championships… Third at 2016 Junior Asian Championship… Fifth at 2016 Asian Championships… Fifth at 2013 Cadet World Championships… Third at 2011 and 2012 Cadet World Championships…

70 kg/154 lbs. – Kirin Kinoshita
Second at 2014 Junior Asian Championships… Fifth at 2012 Cadet World Championships…

74 kg/163 lbs. – Ken Hosaka
Tenth at 2019 Asian Championship… Third at 2014 Copa Brasil (Brazil)… 2014 Senior World Team member… Ninth at 2014 Waclaw Ziolkowski Memorial (Poland)… Third at 2014 Asian Championships… Born July 25, 1992… Age: 25

74 kg/163 lbs. – Yuhi Fujinami
Third at 2017 World Championships… Third at 2017 Junior World Championship… Second at 2015 Junior World Championships… Second at 2014 Junior Asian Championships… Second at 2013 Cadet World Championships

79 kg/174 lbs. – Sohsuke Takatani
Second at 2014 World Championships… Seventh at 2016 Olympic Games… 2012 Olympian… Seventh at 2013 World Championship… Eighth at 2017 World Championships… Sixth at 2017 Ivan Yarygin Grand Prix (Russia)… Second at 2015 Waclaw Ziolkowski Memorial (Poland)…Ninth at 2014 Yasar Dogu (Turkey)… Second at 2012 Olympic Qualification Tournament… Fourth at 2012 Dave Schultz Memorial International… Seventh at 2010 World University Championships… Ninth at 2009 Junior World Championships… Seventh at 2008 Olympic Qualification Tournament… Fifth at 2007 Junior World Championships… Seventh at 2006 Cadet Asian Championships… Fifth at 2005 Cadet Asian Championship… Born March 4, 1989… Age: 29

86 kg/189 lbs. – Shota Shirai
Third at 2012 Cadet World Championships… Fifth at 2015 Junior World Championships… Ninth at 2018 Asian Championships… Seventh at 2015 Grand Prix of Spain…

86 kg/189 lbs. – Masao Matsusaka
Tenth at 2017 Asian Championships… Second at 2017 Dave Shultz Memorial International… 2017 Senior World Team member… Seventh at 2016 Asian Championships…Fifth at 2014 Copa Brasil (Brazil)… Born July 18, 1994… Age: 23

92kg/203 lbs. – Takashi Ishiguro
2014 Cadet Asian champion… Seventh at 2018 Asian Championship… Fifth at 2017 Asian Indoor Games… Eighth at 2016 Junior World Championship… Seventh at 2014 Cadet World Championship… Born June 17, 1997… Age: 20

97 kg/213 lbs. – Takeshi Yamaguchi
Third at 2015 and 2018 Asian Championships… Eighth at 2013 World Championships… Two-time Senior World Team member… Third at 2015 Mongolia Open… Third at 2015 President Cup of Buryatia Republic (Russia)… Tenth at 2013 Asian Championships… Third at 2012 Dave Schultz Memorial International… Fifth at 2006 Cadet Asian Championships… Born March 4, 1989… Age: 29

97 kg/213 lbs. – Taira Sonoda
Eighth at 2012 Cadet World Championship… 2017 U23 World Team member… Born November 27, 1995… Age: 22

125 kg/275 lbs. – Nobuyoshi Arakida
Third at 2008 Junior World Championship… 2006 Junior Asian champion… Eighth at 2015 World Championships… Four-time Senior World Team member… Tenth at 2015 Asian Championships…Second at 2015 Mongolia Open… Ninth at 2015 President Cup of Buryatia Republic (Russia)… Third at 2014 Asian Games… Eighth at 2014 Asian Championships… Fifth at 2012 Asian Championship… Fifth at 2010 Dan Kolov – Nikola Petrov Tournament (Bulgaria)… Third at 2009 Asian Championship…Fifth at 2005 Dave Schultz Memorial International… Seventh at 2008 Asian Championship… Ninth at 2006 Junior World Championship… Tenth at 2005 Junior World Championship… Born March 3, 1988… Age: 30

125 kg/275 lbs. – Taiki Yamamoto
Tenth at 2017 World Championships… Third at 2017 Asian Championships… Ninth at 2016 Olympic Qualification Tournament… Eighth at 2015 Junior World Championships… Third at 2014 Junior Asian Championships… Eighth at 2013 Greco-Roman Cadet World Championships… Born October 18, 1996… Age: 21