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Wrestling: Tatsuhiro Yonemitsu wins first Japanese Olympic gold in 24 years

Updated: Sunday, 12 Aug 2012 15:36 | Comments

Tatsuhiro Yonemitsu jumps for joy
Tatsuhiro Yonemitsu jumps for joy

Japan won their first male wrestling gold in 24 years this afternoon when Tatsuhiro Yonemitsu defeated India's Sushil Kumar in the final of the 66kg freestyle.

Kumar, a railway worker from Delhi, was looking to become India's first ever Olympic champion wrestler, but Yonemitsu overcame him 1-0 3-1 to record a historic win for Japan at the ExCeL.

Yonemitsu edged a tight first period before sealing victory in the second after picking up Kumar and slamming him on the mat.

Mitsuru Sato and Takashi Kobayashi were the last two Japanese men to win wrestling gold in Seoul 1988. Their female wrestlers won three golds at London 2012.

Kazakhstan's Akzhurek Tanatarov and Cuban Livan Lopez Azcuy won bronze after coming through today's repechage.

Jacob Stephen Varner of the United States won the gold medal in the men's freestyle wrestling 96kg, with Ukraine's Valerii Andriitsev taking silver.

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