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Three-time gold medalist Saori Yoshida to retire from wrestling

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I saw a beautiful backflip 15 years ago at the Athens Olympics wrestling venue.

High, fast and smooth, it was executed by Saori Yoshida, who had just won the gold medal in the women's freestyle 55-kg event and could not contain her joy.

It was Yoshida's first Olympic gold, won at long last after years of enduring the tremendous pressure that came from being told constantly that nobody in the world could match up to her, and that there was no reason why she should not win a gold medal.

I still remember the profound emotion on the face of her father, Eikatsu, while her mother, Yukiyo, cried her eyes out.

Yoshida started wrestling when she was........

© The Asahi Shimbun