Saori Yoshida is maybe little known in the Volleyball community but she is one of Japan’s most decorated athletes: a double Olympic champion, Yoshida is a member of Japan’s wrestling national team and has clipped one of the most impressive winning streaks in that sport, with a series of 119 consecutive victories spanning from her international debut in 2002 up to shortly before the 2008 Beijing Olympics.
Yoshida was one of the VIP guests that attended the first match played by team Japan here in Nagoya and she definitely got thrilled by Volleyball: “I have already watched some games directly on site but this is the first time that I see the men in action” she revealed. “I love Volleyball; it is also some kind of a fight and in this sense very similar to my sport”. Yoshida started wrestling at the very tender age of 3 and is one of the stars that have contributed to the increasing popularity of freestyle wrestling in the country of the rising sun. Japan is actually a leading force in this sport, but curiously the ladies have been much more successful than the men by returning back with an impressive collection of medals from all international events held in the past 10 years. “Maybe you shall ask my coach why there is such a difference, but I guess it comes from the fact that girls start training very soon, so their technique is well developed, while most of the guys take up the sport only after starting their academic tuition or anyway in combination with their studies”.
Saori Yoshida was crowned world champion for the ninth time in the past 10 years only a couple of months ago in Istanbul and she says her ultimate goal is to go for a third consecutive gold medal at next year’s London Olympics. She will need that same strength that Japan men’s Volleyball team is longing for in order to pursue their Olympic dream. “Well, I have to admit that men’s Volleyball is extremely attractive. It is very fast and powerful, so for someone who comes from wrestling, this is certainly a very interesting experience. It was nice to be here tonight but feel sorry for our guys who finally could not score their first win” concluded Yoshida.
South Korea’s Inbee Park has become just the seventh woman golfer to win the traditional career Grand Slam. photo Tristan Jones LET
A full weekend of unique displays of Acrobatic Gymnastics were performed at The Echo Arena in Liverpool. photos by Ant Beviss and Alan Britten
Kim won last year's Evian Championship in her first appearance in a Major and Ko has the opportunity to do the same.
Lauren Steadman (GBR) commanded the course and was the frontrunner from start to finish.
11-16 Age Groups have been completed.
Corletto completed the Diamonds’ first training session of the four-day World Cup preparation camp in Newcastle.
Finals day for the British Acrobatic Gymnasts takes place today at The Echo Arena in Liverpool. photos by Ant Beviss
The world’s best female surfers tested their beach-break skills as competition ran through Round 4 and the Quarterfinals today in two-to-three foot waves at Huntington Beach Pier.
The 31-year-old from Sollefteå, Sweden, is a 12-time National Champion, and currently holds the blue and yellow cross jersey in both Road Race and Time Trial.
The second day of the British Gymnastics Championship Series at Echo Arena, Liverpool saw the coveted senior aerobic British titles decided.
The Rebellion defeated the Bandits 4-2 in a wacky game that saw two ties and three lead changes.