Yoshida wins 10th consecutive title

Kyodo

Two-time Olympic gold medalist Saori Yoshida underlined her dominance in wrestling’s 55-kg class by winning her 10th consecutive title at the national invitational tournament on Sunday.

Victory secured Yoshida a spot at the world championships in Istanbul in September, while Hitomi Sakamoto (48 kg), Beijing Olympic champion Kaori Icho (63 kg) and Kyoko Hamaguchi (72 kg) also won their respective finals at Yoyogi National Gymnasium Annex to book tickets to the Turkish capital.

Yoshida took care of up-and-coming 17-year-old Kanako Murata by a score of 2-0 in her final.

“She is young and fresh, but I just can’t lose,” the 28-year-old Yoshida said. “I’m fired up because this is the season before the Olympic year. I have to win a world title to make it a stepping stone toward the London Olympics.”