The Japanese women wrestlers have become the most successful nation, with four gold and one silver medals. An outstanding performance from the wrestling ladies of the country of the rising sun.
The women’s section was introduced in the 80’s thanks to Tomiaki Fukuda, the Vice-president of the Japanese Wrestling Federation. He first met with women’s wrestling in Europe and he thought that the sport could be famous worldwide despite the fact that women wrestlers weren’t accepted. The public opinion: “Why women do such a thing?” made it very difficult to find women wrestlers, so the federation started to find judo competitors.
They had many difficulties, but didn’t give up and they become one of the bests in the world within 40 years. Coaches helped a lot, not just physically, but also mentally, and everybody is equal. Before practices, due to the Japanese traditions, everybody sweeps the dojo, regardless someone is medallist or not.
There is a great emphasis on teamwork and team building not only in trainings, but also in private life.
Siblings on the top
Among the Japanese women wrestlers, it is worth highlighting the Kawai sisters who have reached the top at the World Championships in Budapest and they have great chances in Olympic Games in Tokyo.
Risako Kawai, the older sister, becomes the world champion in the 59 kg category for the second time. She has a great three years since she was the gold medalist in the Olympic Games in Rio. Three years’ younger sister, Yukako got the silver medal in the 62 kg category, which was just her second world event. Last year she was defeated in the quarter final, in Paris.
Wrestling is a family tradition, as their parents were wrestlers, and even their mothers got the 7th place in the World Championships in 1989.
The Kawai sisters followed each other at Shigakukan High School and University. Yukko still has a year left at the sports science, and Risako has already done so, but she comes back to practice with her sister. They have a real close relationship, as we could see in the World Championships in Budapest, as they supported each other. Their main goal is to achieve at least such success in the Olympics as in Budapest.