Yoshida leads Japan to wrestling World Cup win

Kyodo

Japan, led by three-time Olympic champion Saori Yoshida, beat Russia 8-0 in the final to lift the women’s World Cup for a seventh time on Sunday.

China finished third in the event at Azusawa Gymnasium. It was Japan’s first title in two years.

Yoshida, whose father Eikatsu died earlier this week, defeated Maria Gurova by technical fall in the 53-kg class.

“I want to say, ‘Father, I won. Thank you.’ I feel great,” said Yoshida, who held her father’s cremated remains in an urn while on the podium.

Yoshida, who in the past customarily would shake her father’s hand whenever she would win matches, touched a photo of him with her hand after leaving the mat.

“I had been worried that I wouldn’t know what to do if she lost while wrestling in this type of mental state. She really did great,” said Yoshida’s mother, Yukiyo.

World champion Eri Tosaka won the 48 kg, and Sara Dosho the 69 kg with an impressive victory over Natalya Vorobieva, the London Olympic 72-kg champion. Kyoko Hamaguchi triumphed at 75 kg.