Fujinami Bags Gold for 2nd Time at Worlds

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Akari Fujinami is declared the winner of the women’s 53-kilogram division final on Thursday at the world championships.

BELGRADE (Jiji Press) — Japan’s Akari Fujinami on Thursday won the women’s 53-kilogram division for the first time in two years at the 2023 World Wrestling Championships in Belgrade.

Fujinami, a student of Nippon Sport Science University, clinched the top spot for the second time.

She won her first world title in 2021.

Fujinami defeated Vanesa Kaladzinskaya of Belarus, who participated as an individual neutral athlete, in the final round, extending her winning streak to 127 matches.

In the women’s 62-kilogram division, Sakura Motoki of Ikuei University lost to Kyrgyz wrestler and 2021 Tokyo Summer Olympics silver medalist Aisuluu Tynybekova in the final, settling for second place.

The 2023 world championships also serve as a qualifying event for the 2024 Paris Summer Olympics. Both Fujinami and Motoki secured their ticket to compete in the Games by reaching the finals.