USA Greco

Monday Roundup: JPN Preparing; Castillo Training In US

kevin mejia castillo
Kevin Mejia Castillo -- Photo: Tony Rotundo

Olympic Games host country Japan kicked off their major preparation camp on Thursday at Nippon Sport Science University in Yokohama, Kanagawa. It is only a two-man squad on the Greco-Roman side with two-time World Champion Kenichiro Fumita (60 kg) and Shohei Yabiku (77 kg). Fumita, who will own the top seed when action begins in Tokyo early next month, was originally penciled in to compete at the Wladyslaw Pytlasinski Memorial in June until an apparent illness resulted in his becoming temporarily sidelined.

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Similar to the United States in Atlanta, Japan’s Olympic Camp includes a bevy of National Team-type athletes, along with wrestlers from NSSU. Camp is running through this coming week; when it wraps, activities will move to the Ajinomoto Training Center in Tokyo, where the Olympians are set to remain leading up to the Games. Fumita, 25, qualified for Tokyo by winning gold at Nur-Sultan ’19. His victory came on the heels of a decision from Japan which allowed for all World medalists to automatically gain entry onto their Olympic Team. Yabiku, 26, secured 77 kilograms in March after placing second at the Asian Qualifier.


’21 Pan-American Championships gold Kevin Mejia Castillo (97 kg, HON) arrived in Colorado Springs over the weekend in advance of what could be defined as a “mini camp” for US Olympian G’Angelo Hancock (Sunkist). Castillo and Hancock are well-acquainted with one another, and the Honduran is largely credited with helping Hancock acclimate to Senior international competition just prior to the end of the Rio cycle, which marked the beginning of the American’s career.

After putting forth numerous strong efforts at various Pan-American events over the years including a silver at the Games (’15), Castillo came away with his first continental title this past May in Guatemala. Among the vanquished was Junior wunderkind and Olympic Trials runner-up Braxton Amos (Sunkist/Wisconsin RTC).

Two Worlds

While the Fargo Nationals are now just around the corner, it is perhaps easy to get lost in the fact that two age-group World Championships are still to be contested before the summer concludes. First, it will be the Cadets later this month; on deck are the Juniors, who will take the mat in Russia just shy of three weeks after the Seniors are done in Tokyo.

2021 Cadet World Championships

July 23-25 — Budapest, HUN

(All times +6 hours ET)

Friday, July 23
11:30am-3:30pm — Qualification rounds (48, 55, 65, 80, & 110 kg)
4:45pm-5:45pm — Semifinals

Saturday, July 24
11:30am-3:30pm — Qualification rounds (45, 51, 60, 71, & 92 kg)
11:30am-3:30pm — Repechage rounds (48, 55, 65, 80, & 110 kg)
4:45pm-5:45pm — Semifinals (45, 51, 60, 71, & 92 kg)
6:00pm-8:00pm — Finals (48, 55, 65, 80, & 110 kg)

Sunday, July 25
3:00pm-4:45pm — Repechage rounds (45, 51, 60, 71, & 92 kg)
5:00pm-7:00pm — Finals (45, 51, 60, 71, & 92 kg)

2021 Junior World Championships

August 20-22 — Ufa, RUS

(All times +9 hours ET)

Friday, August 20
11:00am-3:30pm — Qualification rounds (55, 63, 77, 87, & 130 kg)
4:45pm-5:45pm — Semifinals

Saturday, August 21
11:00am-3:30pm — Qualification rounds (60, 67, 72, 82, & 97 kg)
11:00am-3:30pm — Repechage rounds (55, 63, 77, 87, & 130 kg)
4:45pm-5:45pm — Semifinals (60, 67, 72, 82, & 97 kg)
6:00pm-8:30pm — Finals (55, 63, 77, 87, & 130 kg)

Sunday, August 22
4:00pm-5:45pm — Repechage rounds (60, 67, 72, 82, & 97 kg)
6:00pm-8:30pm — Finals (60, 67, 72, 82, & 97 kg)

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