Yoshida determined to stay on top

Kyodo

After winning an unprecedented 13 consecutive Olympic and world titles, Saori Yoshida needs something to keep her motivation alive — another title.

Three-time Olympic champion Yoshida, who beat American Helen Maroulis by fall in the 55-kg final at the women’s wrestling world championships for her 10th straight title on Friday, says she is still aiming higher after going one better than Alexander Karelin.

Russian legend Karelin won three Olympic gold medals and nine world titles in the men’s 130-kg class between 1988 and 1999.

“You get a lot of attention when you set record like this, and for me, I’m glad I can show the strength of Japanese wrestling. I was set on achieving this,” Yoshida said.

Yoshida, who turns 30 on Oct. 5, said she plans to continue, looking ahead toward an 11th consecutive world title. “If I can wrestle in the world championships again, I’d like to. Unless I have a goal, I’ll become complacent.

“I want to continue as long as I can. If I feel that I can’t win at some point, then I’ll think about retirement.”