Icho cruises past Olli to capture world title

Kyodo

Kaori Icho breezed to victory against Finland’s Petra Olli in the women’s 58-kg final to capture her 10th world title on Thursday.

Icho, a three time Olympic champion, followed up Saori Yoshida’s win the night before, scoring a 10-0 technical fall victory over Olli to bring Japan its third women’s gold medal at the World Wrestling Championships.

Despite the win, which effectively qualified her for next year’s Rio de Janeiro Olympics, Icho gave herself only 25 points out of 100 for her performance.

“There are a lot of points to reflect on,” Icho said. “I will give myself 25 points. I made a lot of unconscious tackles and don’t know how I got inside.

“I’m a bit disappointed. I have to keep my mind on winning at the Olympics next year but I don’t want to lose sight of my pursuit of (high quality) wrestling.”

On Wednesday, unstoppable Yoshida won her 13th world title. Yoshida and Icho, a native of Aomori Prefecture, will be favorites to defend their titles in Rio next year.

Also on Thursday, Risako Kawai took the silver medal in the women’s 63-kg final after losing by fall to Battsetseg Soronzonbold of Mongolia.

Kawai also virtually guaranteed her spot at the Rio Games.

“After getting through the semifinals and getting an Olympic spot, I was delighted,” Kawai said. “I tried to refocus (for the final), but maybe I was a bit too relieved.”