Kaori Icho makes history 

Kaori Icho makes history 
Highlights

Japan’s Kaori Icho became the first female wrestler to win four consecutive Olympic gold medals Wednesday as she defeated Russia’s Valeriia Koblova Zholobova in the women’s 58-kilogram freestyle final at the Rio Games.

Rio de Janeiro: Japan’s Kaori Icho became the first female wrestler to win four consecutive Olympic gold medals Wednesday as she defeated Russia’s Valeriia Koblova Zholobova in the women’s 58-kilogram freestyle final at the Rio Games.

Sara Dosho completed a Japanese sweep of the day’s freestyle wrestling events, winning the women’s 69-kg final, while Eri Tosaka triumphed in the first gold-medal match of the day in the 48-kg weight class.

It all came down to the wire with Icho and Co, each snatching victory in the dying moments of their respective matches to lift Japan to a treble in front of a packed auditorium at Carioca Arena in Rio de Janeiro’s Barra da Tijuca.

Icho, 32, struggled against Koblova Zholobova, the 23-year-old world silver medalist in 2014, falling behind 2-1 after the Russian tackled her legs in the early going.

But with only seconds remaining, the 10-time world champion staved off a tackle and countered to get control of her opponent’s back for a slim 3-2 decision. “I didn’t wrestle very well.

I’m glad I was able to make many people happy like this but I wanted to fight better,” said Icho, who also became the first woman in Olympic history to win the gold in an individual event in four straight Games.“My opponent came in for a tackle (in the end) so I thought that was my last chance to score. I’m happy it worked.”

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