OSAKA – Three-time Olympic champion Saori Yoshida expressed her desire to make another appearance in freestyle wrestling in four years when the Olympics come to Japan.
Yoshida, who succumbed to American Helen Maroulis in a shock women’s freestyle 53-kg final defeat, missed the chance to join compatriot Kaori Icho in taking four consecutive Olympic titles in Rio de Janeiro last month. But on Thursday she said the 2020 Tokyo Games will be an occasion too big to miss.
“I’ll take time and consider,” Yoshida said. “I’d probably have said I’d quit (if the next Olympic Games was not in Tokyo). There will never be an opportunity like this and I’d like to take part if I’m able.”
Japan national team coach Kazuhito Sakae is proposing Yoshida take up coaching roles with her alma mater, Shigakkan University, and the women’s national team while continuing her career, and Yoshida looks on the idea as a good option.
“I think it’s possible,” said the 33-year-old Yoshida. “I still have four years, and one way of thinking is to aim to make the national team after not competing for one or two years.”