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  1. The Kawai vs Icho match was big news on TV especially after Kawai defeated Icho in the prelims giving Icho her first loss to a fellow Japanese wrestler since...forever ago? I can't recall her last loss in Japan since she lost to none other than Yoshida waaaay back when they were both in college in the same weight class. Then Icho came back and defeated Kawai in the finals so you never know, but with the wrestling harrassment scandals last year, JWF certainly could use some positive exciting news.
  2. Today, Saori Yoshida announced on her Twitter that she has officially retired from competitive wrestling. For the last few years she has mostly been converted to "athlete coach" of Japanese female wrestling so it isn't surprising, but it is still big enough news that a breaking news articles and TV clips popped up in Japan. Rio Olympics will forever have a special place in all American female wrestling fans, but as an American living in Japan for the last few years, I just wanted to give her an official farewell message to the single most decorated female wrestler of all time. 13 consecutive Gold medal winner at Worlds (a guiness record), and a record 206 consecutive victories in individual matches. She has only 3 losses since the beginning of 21st century. 3-time Olympic Gold medalist...and one Silver. She genuinely seems to like teaching her juniors so she might officially convert to a fulltime coach, or become a T.V. commentator or who knows...either way, best of luck to Yoshida and her next career! Now the question is whether or not Kaori Icho is going to compete in next year's Tokyo Olympics or not...
  3. They may put a good fight, but Tosaka is still only 23. She's still got her prime coming up and already has 3 World golds and an Olympic gold, so I think for Tokyo it will still be Tosaka.
  4. Pardon me for bumping a rather old thread, but in a way it is related, and I didn't want to start a new topic. Per Japanese media on the 9th, the Coach Sakae (the bald dude who got lifted by Tosaka and thrown around by Kawai) confirmed that Saori Yoshida has accepted the offer to become the official Japanese wrestling team coach, and the Japanese Wrestling Committee expected to make the official announcement on their next meeting later this month. I mean, she was already an unofficial "coach" with her junior peers, but she's officially hired as one now as the "coach / player" position. The keyword is that she still has not retired as a player yet. Now, from here on is just purely my speculation, but I think she'll attempt to go for one more gold at the Worlds to end on a high note (not that she needs another), then retire as a player and become full-time coach by the time Tokyo rolls by. She probably would've hung up after Rio immediately if she won, but probably doesn't want her final image as a wrestler to be the one broken on the mat. In a way, with every pressure lifted, she might have a relaxed Worlds and I can see her winning one more. As for Kaori Icho...she is really a mystery. She could one day say she's retiring (she's taken a hiatus in middle of her prime before), she could go on...who knows. As of right now, excluding a sudden appearance of a phenom, I can see the Tokyo Japanese women's wrestling candidates to be Eri Tosaka (48 kg), Risako Kawai (58 kg), Sara Dosho (63 kg) and whoever that has been crushed by Yoshida's existence to finally take 53 kg, possibly Kawai's sister. In case people are wondering why those choices, due to Tosaka / Yoshida / Icho locking out the lighter weights, every Japanese women's wrestler has been forcefully gaining weight and those are their natural classes. For one, Kawai has officially stated Rio would be her last tournament that she adds weight for, and is going to challenge Icho for the 58 kg in the future...and considering her dominance in a heavier weight and age, I can see her defeating Icho in the next four years.
  5. I don't know if Icho will retire or not, but unless someone crazy shows up I have a feeling Japan's representative in 58 kg will actually be Risako Kawai. Kawai's natural weight class is 58 kg, but because she could never beat Icho she bumped up to 63 kg, which then bumped Dosho up to 69 kg. They both continued a five meal a day schedule to gain enough weight to make the requirement.
  6. Speaking of worlds, I wonder what weight class Helen is going to compete on. She is the reigning 55kg champion, but just won Olympics against the biggest name at 53kg. However, from the sound of it seems like 53 is reeeeeeally pushing the limit for her, and wonder if she goes down with 55 kg available. When Yoshida went from 55 kg to 53 kg permanently, she was going down to her natural weight (she was doing 55 because it was an Olympic weight, and often competing underweight in her prime).
  7. Mixture of both. It is like, "we are sorry to all our workers who believed in our company to work for us, to all the customers supporting the product...we will try our best to satisfy you, please don't give up on us." In the case of shady dealing, it is "we are sorry, we won't do it ever again please give us another chance, please forgive us we beg you." Japanese consumers are RUTHLESS in product quality...about ten years ago, the biggest dairy product company got hit so hard that it got bought out by lesser company. Their "crime" was mixing cheaper import milk with domestic milk, and selling it as domestic milk.
  8. America has pressure, but Japan is almost a forced "duty" to win...the better you are, the more "obligated" you are to win. For example imagine Simone Biles if she was in the same society, she was "expected" to win five golds, and "only" won four golds and a bronze. Obviously no one in America (or anywhere) faults her, and rightfully praises her like she absolutely deserves. Now imagine Simone in tears in front of the camera after she missed her fifth gold, apologising to her family, friends, and everyone who supported her to see her get five golds. You might think I'm over exaggerating, but it has happened in Japan in past Olympics...a teenage prodigy who was the absolute favorite for gold got a stunning upset at the finals on her first Olympics, and said similar things.
  9. All this talk about face of wrestling and women, and not one mention of Adeline Gray. Helen definitely had the combination of result, draatic story, and looks to add on, but it is quite sad on how fast the "what have you done for me lately"lately syndrome sets in.
  10. Not really, I think they are one of the most unreligious country in the world, not necessarily in a bad way. A good example might be people celebrating Christmas, praying at a shrine on New Years Day, and having a funeral with Buddhist monks.However, they feel utmost responsibility and consider it their duty to "win for the country and the people", which is similar but not the same as patriotism, but more like honor? It is a hard concept to explain with words. They also put a huge amount of respect toward family, which loosely spreads to country aka the people. Kinda stereotypical, but family honor is still existent in the backbone of Japanese society, which probably led to her apologies and "shame" on how she felt like she failed her duty to "owe the country" a victory. To be blunt, it probably is the best and worst aspect of Japanese people combined. The concept of honor leads to worksmanship to create high quality products (and athletes), but it also creates a society where if one overachieves expectations it is praised, but if underachieves the expectations then that is shame on you. For example, World rank #7 Kei Nishikori won bronze for tennis and is the hero of the century, but a 16 consecutive World and Olympics gold medalist wins silver, and the result is the athlete apologising and crying in shame for not meeting the people's expectations.
  11. While watching the closing ceremony and seeing Icho in that special position next to the Tonga taekwondo guy, made me wonder which they would've chose had both Icho and Yoshida had both fourpeat... And then the PM of Japan cosplaying Mario just totally blew my train of thought. Forget sports, I forgot Japan's strongest aspect was high tech all the way.
  12. Yeah, it was even a bigger contrast to Stadnik vs Tosaka medal ceremony right before it.For the reactions I see about Yoshida not smiling at the podium, atleast she had respect for Helen, just physically unable to due to sadness overwhelming her. Maria on the other hand...sure she may be sad too, but she was showing obvious bitterness. Forget smiling, she didn't even pose her medal for photo, and didn't even shake hands but immediately took it off and left. Call me biased, but sadness and bitterness are not the same.
  13. Snyder is the face of USA wrestling in America, and Maroulis is the face of USA wrestling in Japan.
  14. Thankyou sgallan. As someone who saw both sides, seeing most English articles end with Maroulis upset 3 time gold medalist Yoshida leaving her in tears, simply did not feel like it served justice for both players. Helen's backstory is translated everywhere in Japanese, so I just wanted to share the other end too. By the way, a popular opinion on Helen in Japan unrelated to wrestling is that she is quite cute. One portion I didn't translate frommmy friend's words in the original post was "By the way, do you know where I can find more Maroulis pics with her hair down? She looks damn hot that way."
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