20-year-old Tsugumi Sakurai wins gold in women’s 55-kg at worlds – The Foreigners magazine In tokyo
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20-year-old Tsugumi Sakurai wins gold in women’s 55-kg at worlds

Written by on October 6, 2021

Japan’s Tsugumi Sakurai recorded a dominant 10-0 technical fall win over Germany’s Nina Hemmer in the women’s 55-kilogram final on Tuesday, capturing a gold medal in her freestyle wrestling senior world championships debut.

The 20-year-old Ikuei University student, who won the 55-kg title at last year’s national championships and this year’s national invitational, needed just 2 minutes, 8 seconds to secure Japan’s first victory at the Jordal Amfi arena in Oslo.

Japan’s Tsugumi Sakurai (R) and Germany’s Nina Hemmer compete in the women’s 55-kilogram final at the wrestling world championships in Oslo on Oct. 5, 2021. (For editorial use only)(Kyodo)

“I was able to get on the mat with confidence, thanks to all the support I got that allowed me to do well here,” Sakurai said.

“There were wrestlers who appeared in the Olympics and those that have good results, and I was able to go head-to-head against them and beat them. It gives me confidence,” she said.

In the women’s 62-kg, Japanese 18-year-old Nonoka Ozaki defeated Ukrainian Ilona Prokopevniuk 12-0 for bronze.

No wrestlers who represented Japan at the Tokyo Olympics are competing in the Oct. 2-10 event held in Norway’s capital.

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