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Kaori Icho of Japan (red) and Ruixue Jing of China compete during the Women's Freestyle 63 kg Wrestling on Day 12 of the London 2012 Olympic Games at ExCeL on August 8, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Lars Baron/Getty Images)
Japan doubles its golden tally thanks to Obara, Icho


08 Aug 2012
London, England: After winning only two gold medals in the first 11 days of full competition at the London Olympics, Asian sports power Japan doubled its golden tally on a memorable night at the ExCeL Arena on Wednesday. Women’s wrestling is always a safe bet for Japanese gold, and Hitomi Obara (48kg) and Kaori Icho (63kg) did not let down a huge Japanese following.

Obara, 31, had retired twice from the sport after failing to make Japan's Olympic team at the last two Games but opted to return, whereas Icho became the only female wrestler to triumph in Athens, Beijing and London. In the 63kg category, bronze medals went to Mongolia's Battsetseg Soronzonbold and Russia's Lubov Volosova.

Japan climbed to 13th in the rankings with four gold, 13 silver and 14 bronze for a total of 31 from 12 days of competition. Elsewhere on Wednesday, China completed a second successive clean sweep of Olympic table tennis gold medals as Ma Long, Zhang Jike and Wang Hao eased past Korea in the men's team final.

China’s 36th gold of the Games came late in the evening through top seed Wu Jingyu in women's taekwondo (-49kg). China now has 36 gold medals, 22 silver and 19 gold for a total of 77 with four days to go. USA remains second on 34-22-25-81.
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