Three-time Olympic champion Saori Yoshida will feature among seven wrestlers who will compete in the women’s world wrestling championships next month in Canada, the Japan Wrestling Federation said Tuesday.
Yoshida, who captured her third consecutive gold medal in the women’s 55-kg class at the London Games, has won 12 consecutive titles, including nine straight world championships, to put her on equal footing with former Greco-Roman wrestler Alexander Karelin.
The “Russian Bear,” as Karelin was known, also won nine consecutive world and three straight Olympic titles in the men’s heaviest 130-kg weight category.
Yoshida, who is the only Olympian appearing for Japan at the worlds, will have a chance to better that mark by one when she competes at the Sept. 27-29 meet in Edmonton.
Risako Kawai will make her world debut at 51 kg, following in the footsteps of her mother, Hatsue, who competed at the 1989 worlds at 53 kg — making it the first time that both a mother and daughter will have competed in the worlds for Japan.
Yoshiko Inoue, who came third at last year’s worlds, will appear at 67 kg. Eri Tosaka (48 kg), Kayoko Shimada (59 kg), Kayoko Kudo (63 kg) and Hiroe Suzuki (72 kg) are also being dispatched for Japan.
The women’s world championships are held in the same year as the Summer Games, since several weight categories are not contested at the Olympics.