Shinichi Yumoto earns bronze medal in 55-kg freestyle wrestling


Japan’s Shinichi Yumoto emulated his twin brother Kenichi by winning an Olympic bronze medal in men’s 55-kilogram freestyle wrestling on Friday at the London Olympics.

Shinichi fell in his semifinal to Georgia’s Vladimer Khinchegashvili but won his bronze medal match over Beijing bronze medalist and 2006 world champion Radoslav Marinov Velikov 2-0 to match his brother’s feat in the 60-kg class in Beijing.

Yumoto won the close contest on the final technical point in the second period that was scored 1-1.

Russia’s Dzhamal Otarsultanov defeated Khinchegashvili in the final to secure the gold medal.

“I wanted to fight in the final,” said Yumoto, who could only manage eighth place at the world championships last year. “Kenichi took the bronze four years ago and it was a great encouragement for me to get this far and win this medal.”

In the semifinal between Yumoto and Khinchegashvili, the Georgian won the first period 1-0, but Yumoto rallied to score four points in the closing seconds of the second period, which ended with the Georgian receiving treatment on his leg. But Khinchegashvili launched a lightning attack to secure one point in the decisive final round and held on for victory.

Yumoto had advanced to the semifinals with wins over South Korea’s Kim Jin Cheol and Armenia’s Mihran Jaburyan. After some early nerves against Kim, Yumoto regained his composure in a two-round demolition of Jaburyan in which he outscored the Armenian 10 points to one.

North Korea’s Yang Kyong Il won the category’s other bronze medal.

The Olympic debut of Japan’s entrant in the 74-kg class, Sosuke Takatani, lasted just four minutes as he lost his qualification match against Azerbaijan’s Ashraf Aliyev in two periods without scoring a point.

“I wanted to enjoy this more,” said the 23-year-old. “To be finished in one match is pretty lame.”

Jordan Ernest Burroughs of the United States defeated Iran’s Sadegh Saeed Goudarzi 2-0 in the final. Russia’s Denis Tsargush and Uzbekistan’s Soslan Tigiev claimed bronze medals.

Kenichi Yumoto will compete in the 60-kg class on Saturday.