• Kyodo News


World champion Hitomi Sakamoto won the women’s 48-kg category for the first time at the Wrestling National Championships Wednesday, adding to her five titles at 51 kg.

Sakamoto needed just 43 seconds to pin Fuyuko Mimura in the final on the second day of the championships at the Yoyogi National Gymnasium Annex.

“After losing at the Asian Games, I wanted to rebuild my confidence and my wrestling,” Sakamoto said. “I’m just glad I won. Forty-eight kg is a tough weight class, but it’s all been a great learning experience for me.”

The 29-year-old Sakamoto captured her first 48-kg world title in Moscow in September, but settled for bronze at the Asian Games in China’s Guangzhou last month, suffering a shock semifinal defeat to North Korea’s So Sim Hyang.

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