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Saori Yoshida (吉田 沙保里, Yoshida Saori, born 5 October 1982) is a former Japanese freestyle wrestler. Starting in 1998 she won almost every major competition,[4] including three Olympic Games, four Asian Games, and 13 world championships, and became the most decorated athlete in freestyle wrestling history.[5] As of 2016, Yoshida had only three senior career losses in international competitions, to Marcie Van Dusen (0–2) on 20 January 2008 at the Team World Cup series, Valeria Zholobova (1–2) on 27 May 2012 at the World Cup, and to Helen Maroulis (1–4) on 18 August 2016 at the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro. [6]

Saori Yoshida
Saori Yoshida (cropped).jpg
Saori Yoshida with her coach Kazuhito Sakae after winning the 2008 Olympic gold
Personal information
Born (1982-10-05) 5 October 1982 (age 37)
Tsu, Mie, Japan
Alma materShigakkan University[1]
Height1.57 m (5 ft 2 in)
Weight53 kg (117 lb)
Sport
SportWrestling
Event(s)Freestyle
ClubHigh School Wrestling Club Hisai
Sogho Security Services[2]
ALSOK Tokyo[1]
Coached byMasanori Ohashi
Shigeo Kinase[1]
Kazuhito Sakae
Eikatsu Yoshida[3]

Yoshida was the flagbearer for Japan at the 2006 Asian Games[1] and at the 2012 Olympics.[7] In 2007, she became the first female wrestler to be named Japanese Athlete of the Year, and in 2012 she received the People's Honour Award.[1]

WeightEdit

Yoshida started competing internationally as a cadet, in 1998, in the 52 kg category. By 2002, when she moved to seniors, she competed in the 59 kg division. The same year, she lost 4 kg, and remained in the 55 kg category until 2014. She moved to the 53 kg class at the 2014 World Cup and World Championships as part of her preparation for the 2016 Olympics,[8] where the traditional 48–55–63–75 kg scheme will be changed to 48–53–58–63–69–75 kg.[9] However, two weeks after the World Championships she returned to the 55 kg category at the 2014 Asian Games, which kept the old weight divisions.[4] Yoshida announced her retirement on twitter in January 2019.[10]

Family and public lifeEdit

Yoshida is the daughter of Eikatsu Yoshida, a former national champion and wrestling coach.[11][1] She started training in wrestling aged 3, following her father and two elder brothers.[12] Since 2011 she is a face of the ALSOK security group and regularly appears in their commercials.[13]

In December 2008, the wrestling singlet which Yoshida wore in the Olympic final bout earlier that year, was sold for 551,000 yen (ca. US$6,123) at an internet auction, and the money was donated to the Japanese Red Cross society.[3]

In 2013, when the International Olympic Committee named wrestling as a candidate for exclusion from the Games, she became an active part of the Japanese lobbying team that persuaded the IOC to retain wrestling at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.[5]

In May 2014 Yoshida made a cameo appearance in the Japanese television drama Tokyo Metropolitan Guard Center, and later wished to resume acting after retiring from wrestling.[1]

Olympic Games/World Championship/Asian Games matchesEdit

Res. Record Opponent Score Date Event Location
2016 Olympic silver medalist at 53kg
Loss 89-1   Helen Maroulis 1-4 August 18, 2016 2016 Summer Olympics   Rio de Janeiro
Win 89-0   Betzabeth Argüello 6-0
Win 88-0   Isabelle Sambou 4-0
Win 87-0   Nataliya Synyshyn 9-0
2015 World champion at 53kg
Win 86-0   Sofia Mattsson 2-1 September 10, 2015 2015 World Championship   Las Vegas, NV
Win 85-0   Jong Myong-suk 5-2
Win 84-0   Anzhela Dorogan 11-0
Win 83-0   Nguyễn Thị Lụa 10-0
Win 82-0   Nadine Tokar Fall
2014 Asian Games champion at 55kg
Win 81-0   Sündeviin Byambatseren 12-1 September 28, 2014 2014 Asian Games   Inchon
Win 80-0   Babita Kumari 14-4
Win 79-0   Phạm Thị Loan Fall
Win 78-0   Zhong Xuechun 12-9
2014 World champion at 53kg
Win 77-0   Sofia Mattsson 6-0 September 10, 2014 2014 World Championship   Tashkent
Win 76-0   Jillian Gallays Fall
Win 75-0   Natalia Malysheva 10-0
Win 74-0   Pang Qianyu Fall
2013 World champion at 55kg
Win 73-0   Sofia Mattsson 5-0 September 19, 2013 2013 World Championship   Budapest
Win 72-0   Iryna Husyak 8-0
Win 71-0   Sündeviin Byambatseren 8-0
Win 70-0   Valeria Koblova 7-0
Win 69-0   Ana Maria Pavăl 8-0
2012 World champion at 55kg
Win 68-0   Helen Maroulis Fall September 28, 2012 2012 World Championship   Strathcona County, AL
Win 67-0   Nataliya Synyshyn Fall
Win 66-0   Geeta Phogat Fall
Win 65-0   Akziya Dautbayeva Fall
2012 Olympic champion at 55kg
Win 64-0   Tonya Verbeek 3-0, 2-0 9 August, 2012 2012 Summer Olympics   London
Win 63-0   Valeria Zholobova 1-0, 2-0
Win 62-0   Yuliya Ratkevich 1-0, 2-0
Win 61-0   Kelsey Campbell 1-0, 1-0
2011 World champion at 55kg
Win 60-0   Tonya Verbeek 0-1, 2-2, 3-2 September 15, 2011 2011 World Championship   Istanbul
Win 59-0   Ida-Theres Nerell 6-0, 6-0
Win 58-0   Alma Valencia 5-0, 7-0
Win 57-0   Helen Maroulis Fall
Win 56-0   Emriye Musta Fall
2010 Asian Games champion at 55kg
Win 55-0   Zhang Lan 5-0, 1-0 November 26, 2010 2010 Asian Games   Guangzhou
Win 54-0   Pak Yon-hui Fall
Win 53-0   Liliya Shakirova 1-0, 7-0
Win 52-0   Batbaataryn Nomin-Erdene 4-0, 5-0
2010 World champion at 55kg
Win 51-0   Yuliya Ratkevich 2-0, 6-0 September 9, 2010 2010 World Championship   Moscow
Win 50-0   Maria Gurova 5-0, 3-0
Win 49-0   Tatiana Padilla 3-0, 7-0
Win 48-0   Tamara Kazaryan 6-0, 6-0
Win 47-0   Um Ji-eun Fall
2009 World champion at 55kg
Win 46-0   Sona Ahmadli 3-0, 6-0 September 24, 2009 2009 World Championship   Herning
Win 45-0   Tonya Verbeek 3-0, 3-2
Win 44-0   Ana Maria Pavăl Fall
Win 43-0   Anna Gomis 1-0, 2-1
Win 42-0   Maminirina Rafaliharisolo 8-0, 7-0
2008 Olympic champion at 55kg
Win 41-0   Xu Li Fall August 16, 2008 2008 Summer Olympics   Beijing
Win 40-0   Tonya Verbeek 2-0, 6-0
Win 39-0   Natalia Golts 2-1, 4-0
Win 38-0   Ida-Theres Nerell 3-1, 4-0
2007 World champion at 55kg
Win 37-0   Ida-Theres Nerell 8-0 September 21, 2007 2007 World Championship   Baku
Win 36-0   Alena Filipava 7-0
Win 35-0   Jackeline Renteria Castillo 7-4
Win 34-0   Joice Silva 10-0
Win 33-0   Jessica Bechtel 9-0
2006 Asian Games champion at 55kg
Win 32-0   Olga Smirnova 3-0, 6-0 December 11, 2006 2006 Asian Games   Doha
Win 31-0   Su Lihui 6-1, 2-0
Win 30-0   Alka Tomar 1-0, 5-0
2006 World champion at 55kg
Win 29-0   Mariya Ivanova 13-0 September 29, 2006 2006 World Championship   Guangzhou
Win 28-0   Ida-Theres Nerell 10-3
Win 27-0   Anna Gomis 3-1
Win 26-0   Natalya Golts 8-0
Win 25-0   Marcia Mendoza 6-3
2005 World champion at 55kg
Win 24-0   Lihui Su 6-0 September 28, 2005 2006 World Championship   Budapest
Win 23-0   Tonya Verbeek 4-0
Win 22-0   Ludmila Cristea 6-0
Win 21-0   Ana Maria Paval 4-0
Win 20-0   Rathi Neha 10-0
2004 Olympic champion at 55kg
Win 19-0   Tonya Verbeek 5-0 August 23, 2004 2004 Summer Olympics   Athens
Win 18-0   Anna Gomis 7-6
Win 17-0   Diletta Giampiccolo 10-0 August 22, 2004
Win 16-0   Sun Dongmei 11-0
2003 World champion at 55kg
Win 15-0   Tina George 5-2 September 12, 2003 2003 World Championship   New York City, NY
Win 14-0   Natalya Golts 3-2
Win 13-0   Jennifer Ryz 10-0
Win 12-0   Monika Michalik 4-0
Win 11-0   Kitti Godo 3-0
Win 10-0   Olga Serbina 10-0
2002 World champion at 55kg
Win 9-0   Tina George 10-4 November 11, 2002 2002 World Championship   Chalkida
Win 8-0   Ida-Theres Nerell 10-0
Win 7-0   Jennifer Ryz 11-0
Win 6-0   Minerva Perez 10-1
Win 5-0   Tatyana Lazareva 3-0
2002 Asian Games champion at 55kg
Win 4-0   Lee Na-lae 11-1 October 6, 2002 2002 Asian Games   Busan
Win 3-0   Alka Tomar 10-0
Win 2-0   Naidangiin Otgonjargal 7-0
Win 1-0   Sun Dongmei 10-0

Championships and accomplishmentsEdit

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b c d e f g YOSHIDA Saori Archived October 2, 2014, at the Wayback Machine. incheon2014ag.org
  2. ^ Saori Yoshida. sports-reference.com
  3. ^ a b To Our Friends in Wrestling Around the world. japan-wrestling.org. 2008
  4. ^ a b Yoshida, Saori (JPN). iat.uni-leipzig.de
  5. ^ a b Iwamoto, Shintaro (September 20, 2013) WRESTLING/ Yoshida captures 11th straight world championship Archived September 29, 2014, at Archive.today. ajw.asahi.com.
  6. ^ Odeven, Ed (May 31, 2012) "Yoshida returns focus to Olympic three-peat after rare defeat", Japan Times, p. 20
  7. ^ The Asahi Shimbun OLYMPICS/ WRESTLING: 2-time gold medalist Yoshida eager to break 'flag-bearer jinx' August 4 2012 Archived August 8, 2012, at the Wayback Machine Retrieved on August 15, 2012
  8. ^ Yoshida, Icho extend dominance. japantimes.co.jp. September 12, 2014
  9. ^ Qualification System – Games of the XXXI Olympiad – Rio 2016. FILA
  10. ^ Diamond, James (January 9, 2019). "Thirteen-time UWW world champion and triple Olympic gold medallist Yoshida retires". inside the games.
  11. ^ Japan Blanks Russia for Women's World Cup Crown. aipsmedia.com
  12. ^ Athletes > Saori Yoshida > Bio. 2008.nbcolympics.com
  13. ^ ALSOK Commercial Song. G!VOICE, Vol. 52, September 2012.
  14. ^ "東京スポーツ プロレス大賞:選考経過(2000~2009)". Tokyo Sports (in Japanese). Retrieved December 16, 2017.
  15. ^ "東京スポーツ プロレス大賞(2010~)". Tokyo Sports (in Japanese). Retrieved December 16, 2017.

External linksEdit

Olympic Games
Preceded by
Ai Fukuhara
Flagbearer for   Japan
London 2012
Succeeded by
Keisuke Ushiro