Sara Dosho will wrestle for a second straight Olympic gold medal at the Tokyo Games this summer after winning a selection playoff Sunday for the women’s 68-kg freestyle.
The Rio de Janeiro Games 69-kg champion earned the right to represent Japan on home soil in the new Olympic weight category by beating national champion Miwa Morikawa in front of selectors at the Ajinomoto National Training Center in Tokyo’s Kita Ward.
The 25-year-old Dosho was unable to defend her 68-kg crown at the Asian championships last month after winning three straight continental titles.
“Because it was win or else, I’m relieved,” Dosho said. “I was able to execute all the things I’ve been working on. I had a strong will to beat her and go to the Olympics.”
Keisuke Otoguro earlier secured Olympic team selection for the men’s 74-kg freestyle by winning his playoff against Mao Okui.
“It hasn’t sunk in yet, but of course I’m happy,” Otoguro said. “I was able to stay calm.”
“For the Olympics I’d like to have a plan so that I can peak at the right time.”
Otoguro, 23, will wrestle on the Olympic team alongside younger brother, 2018 world champion Takuto, 21, who will contest the men’s 65-kg freestyle.
The selection playoffs were held without spectators and with only a small handful of media present as part of measures to help stem the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak.