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Yoshida retains Olympic title in women's 55kg wrestling
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19:46, August 16, 2008


Yoshida Saori of Japan (red) wins over Xu Li of China during the women's freestyle 55kg final at the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games wrestling event in Beijing, China, Aug. 16, 2008. Yoshida Saori won the bout and got the gold medal. (Xinhua)



Yoshida Saori of Japan (red) cerelates victory after winning over Xu Li of China during the women's freestyle 55kg final at the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games wrestling event in Beijing, China, Aug. 16, 2008. (Xinhua Photo)


Saori Yoshida retained her Olympic gold medal in the women's 55kg freestyle wrestling on Saturday after defeating host wrestler Xu Li in the final.

Yoshida dominated the final, giving her opponent no chance and winning the two bouts 2-0, 5-0.

The 25-year-old Yoshida was also the winner of the last five world championships from 2002 to 2007 besides her triumph in Athens four years ago when women's wrestling made its Olympic debut.

Yoshida had a undefeated record of 119 matches, which ended by American Marcie van Dusen in the World Cup in Taiyuan, China in March this year.

"This gold really means lots to me," said Yoshida. "I can't forget the loss to van Dusen. That's the only one in my career life."

"That loss left shadow in my heart and it forced me to keep training. I came here only for the gold."

"I never wasted any practise chance since 2004 and I kept on improving myself." added Yoshida

Yishida thought high of her opponent in final. She thought Xu Li was quite a strong opponent.

"Xu Li is very young and strong. It is difficult to beat her."

"From now on, I will begin to start all opponents' weakness to win more." said Yoshida.

She became the first female wrestler to retain the Olympic champion.

Xu Li failed to earn China the first wrestling gold at Beijing Olympics. The silver was Chinese second as Chang Yongxiang placed second men's Greco-Roman 74kg class. Xu would have been the youngest Olympic wrestling gold medalist in any discipline.

Xu Li, 19, said she didn't expect to go into the final as her first target was just to be in the top eight.

"So silver is all right to me," said Xu. "I fought with Yoshida twice and I lost both. She was really a strong rival to defeat."

"Anyway, I don't think I was performing my best. I will work hard in the future." added Xu.

Jackline Renteria of Colombia defeated Ana Paval of Romania with a victory by fall, to earn Colombia the second medal at the Beijing Olympics.

Another bronze medal went to Tonya Verbeek of Canada. She took the second medal for Canada following teammate Carol Huynh's gold win in the women's 48kg category.

Source: Xinhua

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