Interview by Hamdollah Emadi Heydari

World wrestling legend says she loves Iranian wrestling

Tehran, Sept 11, IRNA - Kaori Icho, four-time Olympic champion in women's freestyle wrestling said she loves Iranian way of wrestling.

'I love the Iranian men's national wrestling team because of their professional techniques,' the ten-time world champion said in an exclusive interview with IRNA.

Kaori noted that she has always followed the Iranian wrestling competitions and learned from them.

'Despite the Iranian men's national wrestling team high position in wrestling, the Iranian women team is not prepared for attending the international events,' the Japanese champion who is in Iran to hold a training course for the Iranian women wrestling team.

'Everybody in the Iranian women wrestling team is trying very hard, but they need to improve their stamina and physical fitness,' she noted.

'Technique is important, but physical fitness is much important,' Kaori said, noting that the Iranian women wrestling team is gradually improving.

'I loved wrestling from the early years of my life, I have an older brother and a sister who are proffesional wrestlers and I started the wrestling when I was three or four years old,' she said while elaborating on her personal efforts for becoming a champion.

Kaori is a Japanese freestyle wrestler and four-time Olympic Champion, winning gold in 2004, 2008, 2012 and 2016. Icho was undefeated between 2003 and 2016. On 29 January 2016 at the Golden Grand Prix Ivan Yarygin 2016 Icho lost to Orkhon Purevdorzh of Mongolia. This was her first loss after a long domination.

She is the first female in any sport to win individual-event gold at four consecutive Olympics. On October 20th, 2016, she was awarded the People's Honour Award by Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe for her achievements, the second wrestler to receive the highest award, after Saori Yoshida in 2012.

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