London 2012

Hat-trick for Yoshida

Japan continue to dominate women's wrestling

Last Updated: 09/08/12 9:49pm

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Saori Yoshida: Won her third successive Olympic gold medal on Thursday

Saori Yoshida: Won her third successive Olympic gold medal on Thursday

Saori Yoshida won her third successive Olympic gold to maintain Japan's dominance of women's wrestling at London 2012.

Yoshida beat Canada's Tonya Lynn Verbeek 3-0 2-0 in Thursday's final of the -55kg weight category.

Verbeek was looking to add gold to her collection of Olympic silver and bronze medals, but the 34-year-old could not handle Yoshida, who was roared on by a raucous Japanese following at the ExCeL.

A tense opening period was scoreless until 20 seconds from the end when Yoshida picked her opponent up and dumped her off the mat.

Shunted

The Japanese then shunted Verbeek off the mat in the second period to claim victory.

Japan have now won all three gold medals in women's wrestling at the Olympics following the victories of Kaori Icho and Hitomi Obara on Wednesday.

Jackeline Renteria Castillo of Colombia and Azerbaijan's Yuliya Ratkevich claimed the two bronze medals after coming through this evening's repechage.

Later, Russia's Natalia Vorobieva stunned Stanka Zlateva Hristova to take gold in thrilling style in the -72kg division.

Hristova is a five-time world champion and also claimed silver in Beijing, but she was denied Olympic gold again thanks to a very impressive performance from three-time junior world champion Vorobieva.

The 21-year-old lost the first period after being pushed off the mat but came back to pin her opponent - a rarity in wrestling - in the second to seal a shock victory.

Maida Unda earlier won bronze to claim Spain's first ever wrestling medal. Kazakhstan's Guzel Manyurova won the division's other bronze.

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