Yoshida carries off coach after wrestling treble

Japan's Saori Yoshida won a third Olympic 55kg women's freestyle wrestling title on Thursday and celebrated by performing a cartwheel and grappling with her coach.

She defeated Canada's Tonya Verbeek, bronze medallist in Beijing four years ago and her beaten opponent in the inaugural 2004 final in Athens, in the gold medal match.

A day after Japan's Kaori Icho completed a hat-trick of Olympic 63kg golds, and compatriot Hitori Obama became the 48kg champion, Yoshida's success saw Japan take three of the four women's wrestling titles on offer.

Yoshida dumped Verbeek on her back for a three-point score in the opening period and sealed victory with a takedown in the second, upheld despite a Canadian challenge.

An elated Yoshida -- roared on by chants of "Saori, Saori" from the massed ranks of Japanese fans -- celebrated with a cartwheel, lifted up the Japan team wresting coach, before flipping him onto the mat and then carrying him on her shoulders.

Yoshida's conclusive win rounded off a Games where she didn't concede a point.

It also meant Yoshida, who has also won nine world championships, had equalled the record of 12 world-level titles held by Russia's three-time Olympic Greco-Roman gold medal winner Alexander Karelin.

But as for going on to the next Olympic Games, in Rio in 2016, Yoshida said: "It will take some time before I decide whether I will defend my title.

"I feel so happy and this special stage is so special and so I am so happy to have won the gold medal," the 29-year-old added.

"Until I came over to England my condition was not perfect so I was very, very stressed out. I really wanted to fulfil my promise to win the gold today."

Verbeek, 35 next week, said: "One call could have changed things a bit, but ultimately I'm happy for what I have done for Canada."

The tone for extravagant celebration had already by Colombia's Jackeline Renteria Castillo as she beat Tetyana Lazareva for a second consecutive bronze to follow her one in Beijing.

Castillo, even before the referee had raised her arm to formally confirm her victory over the Ukrainian, was being lifted high in the air by her exultant coach -- who was then promptly dumped to the mat by his charge.

Azerbaijan's Yuliya Ratkevich defeated Russia's Valeriia Zholobova for the other bronze.

Russia's Natalia Vorobieva upset the form book but not her own predictions in defeating Bulgaria's five-time world champion Stanka Zlateva Hristova, the Beijing silver medallist, in the 72kg final.

Hristova looked to be in charge early on but was stunned later when the 21-year-old Vorobieva, at her first Games, managed to turn her for a winning score and a 5-0 victory.

"I didn't think about the idea of winning gold because the competition to get in to the Russian team was extremely hard.

"But the moment I learned I was in the team I knew that I would be there standing on the podium getting the gold medal.

"I wanted to scream, jump and shout at the top of my voice when I won. I felt like crying out of happiness."

Vorobieva had defeated 2008 gold medallist Wang Jiao in her semi-final and there wasn't even the consolation of a bronze for the Chinese.

She was beaten for a place on the podium by Kazakhstan's Guzel Manyurova, who'd ended Japanese hopes of a clean sweep by defeating Kyoko Hamaguchi.

The other bronze went to Maida Unda, the first Spaniard, male or female, to win an Olympic wrestling medal.

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