Japan achieved a dominant victory in the Women’s Wrestling competition on Day 5 of the World Wrestling Championships, clinching a total of four gold medals in the four weight classes of 65kg, 50kg, 57kg, and 76kg.
From September 16 to September 24, 2023, the world’s leading grapplers converged on the Štark Arena in Belgrade, Serbia, for the 2023 World Wrestling Championships. Japan, being one of the nations that competed, stood tall as their line up this year featured a formidable collection of champions and medalists.
How did Japan do it?
Nonoka Ozaki- 65 kg
And, on Day 5, the female Japanese wrestlers took to the mats in the arena to show their unequaled strength to the world. First up is Nonoka Ozaki, the twenty-year old wrestler who achieved gold medals at the 2022 World Wrestling Championships and 2022 Asian Wrestling Championships. She won against the American wrestler Macey Kilty in the final with a score of 10-0.
Yui Susaki- 50 kg
Olympic gold medalist Yui Susaki proved unbeatable once again in the 50 kg category. Susaki was reported to have suffered a knee injury 19 days before the competition, which could have hampered her performance. But this didn’t stop her from reaching her goal of securing a berth at the Paris Olympics. Looking up to Japan’s basketball team, which qualified for the Olympics, and to her older sister, who sent her a picture with a note saying, “We believe in you,” was enough for Susaki to get back up and rise to the challenge.
And this she did. She emerged as the victor in the 50 kg category when Susaki beat
Otgonjargal Dolgorjav at the final with a score of 10-1 for Japan.
“I injured myself 19 days ago during a practice session because I kept pushing myself too hard to win this world championship. Now I’ve overcome the challenge and all those experiences broaden my abilities. I will use them to build my confidence towards Paris 2024.”, she told Olympics.com.
Sakurai Tsugumi- 57 kg
Another Japanese wrestler made her country proud as she went home with gold and a place at next year’s Paris Olympics after she beat Moldovan wrestler Anastasia Nichita with a score of 3-2 in the 57kg final.
“I went on to the mat believing I’d got stronger than last year,” Sakurai said. “I’m determined to win the gold medal in Paris.”
Kagami Yuka- 76 kg
And finally, Kagami Yuka, just like Sakurai and Susaki, is officially a ‘Paris Olympic bound” wrestler when she placed first in the 76 kg category last September 20. She knocked out Kyrgyzstan wrestler Aiperi Medet Kyzy with a huge score of 8-0, giving Japan their first gold medal in the heavyweight division since 2003.
The photo above is from a YouTube screen shot