NUR-SULTAN – Kenichiro Fumita defeated Russia’s Sergey Emelin to claim the men’s Greco-Roman 60-kg gold medal Tuesday at the world championships in Kazakhstan, which double as a qualifier for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
The 23-year-old Fumita clinched a 10-5 victory over Emelin, 24, who had won all four of his matches coming into the final.
“It feels good. The victory itself is valuable, but I’ve also been able to discover areas in which I’ve gotten stronger. It was a really positive match,” said Fumita, who won gold at the 2017 world championships in Paris.
“I’ve made a great start (toward the Tokyo Olympics). I want to use this to strengthen over the next year, with an eye to becoming Olympic champion.”
Fumita’s preparation for the tournament included sparring at a training camp in Kusatsu, Gunma Prefecture, with Shingo Matsumoto, Greco-Roman chairman of the Japan Wrestling Federation, who outweighs him by some 30 kg.
In the women’s 50-kg quarterfinals, Japan’s Yuki Irie bowed out with a 13-12 loss to China’s Sun Yanan.