Young Journalists Club | Latest news of Iran and world

22 September 2017 - 16:53
News ID: 2082
Publish Date: 11:05 - 09 September 2013
Japan's triple gold medallist Saori Yoshida has vowed wrestling's Olympic reprieve for the Tokyo Games will spur her on to glory in 2020, even though she will be 37.
Yoshida, who dominates her 55kg class, said the decision by the International Olympic Committee to reinstate wrestling on the official programme will "keep alive children's dreams for the future".
 
The 30-year-old shed tears of joy when the IOC, meeting in Buenos Aires, chose Tokyo over Madrid and Istanbul as the 2020 Summer Olympic host city.
 
"It has made me feel like working hard toward Tokyo," said Yoshida, who has won the 55-kilogramme freestyle title three straight times since women's wrestling made its Olympic debut in 2004.
 
"Of course, I will aim for the gold medal," she told the Nikkan Sports daily.
 
Yoshida has also won 10 consecutive world championship titles. The total of 13 back-to-back Olympic and world gold medals eclipsed Russian Greco-Roman wrestler Alexander Karelin's record of 12.
 
Wrestling, like judo, has been a major source of medals for Japan, who have won at least one medal in the sport at every Games in since 1952, apart from the boycotted Moscow Games in 1980.
 
At last year's London Olympics, Japan bagged four wrestling golds -- three in the women's game through Yoshida, Kaori Icho (63kg) and Hitomi Obara (48kg) -- as well as two men's bronzes.
 
Japan were stunned when the IOC dropped wrestling from the 2020 Olympics in February and have been part of a vigorous international campaign for its reinstatement.
 
At a weekend IOC vote, wrestling beat off baseball/softball and squash for a spot in the 2020 programme.
 
"Three battles were lined up for me in September and I have won two of them," said Yoshida, referring to the Tokyo 2020 bid and the return of her sport to the Olympic programme.
 
"Now I just have to win the last one," she said. Yoshida defends her title at the world wrestling championships, which open on September 16 in Budapest.

AFP
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