Yoshida, Icho claim national titles in new weight classes

Kyodo

Olympic wrestling standouts Saori Yoshida and Kaori Icho each won in her new weight division on Sunday at Japan’s National Invitational Championships, an event that doubles as a qualifier for this year’s world championships.

Yoshida, who had been unrivaled at 55 kg, dropped down to win the new women’s 53-kg category, while Icho won the women’s 58-kg title. Including their victories at the former Japan women’s championships, Yoshida and Icho each have won 12 national titles. Eri Tosaka, who won her third straight title at 48 kg, Yoshida and Icho have all but locked up their spots on Japan’s team for the worlds, to be held in September in Tashkent.

In the men’s 74-kg freestyle, Sosuke Takatani won his second straight championship, while Yuki Takahashi won his first title when he topped the 57-kg division.

Ryutaro Matsumoto, who won a bronze medal at the London Olympics, won the 66-kg Greco-Roman title.