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Kaori Icho set to make return to international competition in April

Kyodo

Four-time Olympic wrestling champion Kaori Icho will represent Japan at April’s Asian Championships in her first international competition since the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics, the Japan Wrestling Federation said Monday.

Icho, who is aiming to win her fifth straight Olympic gold medal at the 2020 Tokyo Games, will compete in the women’s 57-kg division at the six-day Asian Championships in China, which begin on April 23. Her competition is scheduled on the fourth day of the tournament.

The 34-year-old returned to the mat at a domestic competition in October following a two-year break after topping the women’s 58-kg division at the 2016 Olympics.

She earned a spot for the continental tournament by winning her 13th title at December’s national championships. In the final, she defeated Risako Kawai, who had won the 63-kg title in Rio.

Icho was put under an unwanted spotlight during her break, when a harassment scandal involving a national team coach came to light.

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