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Tuesday, 20th March 2012
In Japan Sports News,

Japanese wrestler eyes third Olympic gold

Japanese wrestler Saori may not look a particularly formidable opponent at first glance, but ignoring her relatively small height and light weight, she could be the most intimidating competitor at the London 2012 Olympics.

Having won gold at the 2004 Athens Olympics and the 2008 games in Beijing, she is on course for a record third and by the looks of it nobody will be able to stop her, Reuters reported.

Picking up the hat-trick of gold medals would add to her awe-inspiring nine consecutive world titles and give her 12 world titles, a feat only achieved by the infamous Russian wrestler Alexander Karelin.

Added to her nine world titles and two Olympic crowns, Yoshida has also won three successive gold medals at the Asian Games and, since her professional career began in 2002, has won every international tournament she has entered.

"If I wrestle the way I can, I won't lose," she told Reuters reporters at a training session today (March 20th). "That's the way I feel going to London."

Wrestling in the 55 kilogram category, the 29-year-old has lost just once match in her professional career, when an incredible 119-match winning streak was brought to a close during a World Team Cup Series bout in 2008, by the American Marcie Van Dusen.

Since then she is undefeated once again, and barring any hiccups should continue her run.

"Fear is there. Anything can happen at an Olympics," she told the news agency.

Yoshida is determined to take the gold and believes that if she can harness her fear and use her experiences in Greece and China she will take it.

She said: "I will do everything to make sure I win a third gold medal in London. That target drives me. I'm bulking up and have more power now. I'll be fighting fit to take the gold back home."

Earlier this month, the Japan Association of Athletics Federations announced the six-strong marathon team that will represent the country at London 2012.

Written by Mark Smith

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