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AFP
January 11, 2019

Yoshida quits wrestling

Sports

AFP
January 11, 2019

TOKYO: Japan’s Saori Yoshida, a three-time Olympic gold medallist, confirmed Thursday she is retiring from wrestling despite “wavering” at the thought of missing the Tokyo 2020 Games.

“I decided to retire with the feeling that I’ve done enough in wrestling,” said Yoshida, who is a popular figure in Japan and regularly appears on local television shows. She admitted “wavering, with the feeling that I want to participate in the Tokyo Olympics,” but said she had ultimately decided it was time to pass the baton to younger athletes.

The 36-year-old topped the podium in the women’s 55-kg division at three straight Summer Games between 2004 and 2012, but fell short of a fourth straight gold medal at the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Games, settling for silver in the 53-kg division.

She was left in tears at the Rio games after her shock defeat by American Helen Maroulis, and said the experience meant the silver she earned then was the most memorable of all 17 of her medals.

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