BUDAPEST – Norikatsu Saikawa placed fifth in the men’s Greco-Roman 96-kg competition on the sixth day of action Saturday at the wrestling world championships.
Saikawa was beaten by eventual champion Nikita Melnikov of Russia in the fourth round and ended up fifth after losing to Shalva Gadabadze of Azerbaijan in the third-place playoff.
“I’ve lost and that is all there is to it,” said Saikawa. “There is no sense of achievement when you lose. I couldn’t win points by trying to wear my opponents down and this shows my level. Even if you lose by one point a loss is still a loss.”
At 60 kg, Kazuma Kuramoto defeated London Olympic silver medalist Revaz Lashkhi of Georgia in the first round but suffered a defeat to Ivan Kuylakov of Russia in the fourth.
He finished seventh on his debut at the worlds after losing to Elmurat Tasmuradov of Uzbekistan in the repechage.
“I was able to wrestle at my pace in the matches I won but could not find a rhythm in the bouts that I lost. I wanted to show that (Japan) can do well in Greco-Roman by winning a medal,” he said.