Wrestling: Otoguro becomes Japan’s youngest male world champ

Takuto Otoguro won the final in the 65-kilogram freestyle category at the world wrestling championships on Monday, becoming Japan’s youngest male world gold medalist at the age of 19.

Otoguro defeated Bajrang Punia of India 16-9. He rewrote the previous Japanese record held by Olympic gold medalist and four-time world champion Yuji Takada, who won the 52-kg world title at age 20 in 1974.

Fellow Japanese competitor Atsushi Matsumoto settled for bronze in the men’s 92-kg freestyle class, beating Mongolian Turtogtokh Luvsandorj 6-5.

In the women’s bouts, Japan’s Olympic gold medalist Risako Kawai and former world champion Mayu Mukaida each booked spots in their respective weight class finals.

Kawai, last year’s world champion in the women’s 59-kilogram division, advanced with two comprehensive wins. Two months after suffering a shock semifinal defeat at this summer’s Asian Games in Jakarta, Kawai defeated her first opponent, Asian Games silver medalist and 2016 world champion Pei Xingru, 6-0.

Kawai then beat Belarus’ Katsiaryna Yanushkevich by fall in the quarterfinals before a 10-0 semifinal victory over Svetlana Lipatova of Russia 10-0.

Mukaida, the 2016 women’s 55-kg world champion, advanced to her final by beating China’s Qi Zhang 8-1 following a narrow 6-4 quarterfinal win over Sweden’s Rio Olympic bronze medalist Sofia Mattsson.

The final berth gives Mukaida a chance for redemption, after she blew a 6-0 advantage in last year’s final, where she was defeated by Belarus’ Vanesa Kaladzinskaya.

«Last year, I took home the silver, so this time I am absolutely going to give it my all,» she said.

All — Kyodo News+

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