Saori Yoshida won the women’s 55-kg weight class and Kaori Icho prevailed in the women’s 63 kg as both Olympic gold medalists claimed their third straight titles at the wrestling national championships on Thursday.
On the final day of competition at Tokyo’s Yoyogi National Gymnasium annex, Yoshida beat Chikako Matsukawa in the 55-kg final before she received the Emperor’s Cup trophy given to the MVP, while Icho downed Ayako Shoda in the 63-kg final. In a three-way round-robin match in the women’s 72 kg, Kyoko Hamaguchi outclassed Kie Tanaka in the second round and Ayako Murashima in the third round to win the division for her ninth straight crown. In the men’s 60-kg freestyle, collegiate champion Takafumi Kojima defeated Athens Olympics bronze medalist Kenji Inoue for his first national title. Makoto Sasamoto, who placed fifth in Athens, saw his fifth straight victory in the Greco-Roman 60 kg.
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