KYODO News: Japanese wrestler using lockdown to lock in mental fortitude
Friday, April 17, 2020 - 13:17 By United World Wrestling Press
Wrestlers around the world are stuck in their homes hoping to do their part to flatten the curve. In an article today in the Kyodo News, defending Olympic champion Risako Kawai says she is taking this break from the mats to train her mind.
"I can't do, but I can watch," she said, explaining how she has been spending time watching videos of her opponents, researching techniques and mentally rehearsing match scenarios.
The 25-year-old, who competes in the 57-kilogram weight class, says she has never spent so much time away from the sport.
Kawai has not been able to spar with her training partner since Shigakkan University, her alma mater and training base in the central Japan city of Obu, Aichi Prefecture, suspended all club activities in late March.
"All I do is take in one day at a time," she says.
Four years ago, Kawai wrestled the 63-kg event to avoid having to go up against 10-time world champion and four-time Olympic women's wrestling champion Kaori Icho at 58 kg, and claimed the gold medal in her Olympic debut in Rio.
But for Tokyo 2020, Kawai made the bold move of stepping down a weight division and coming face-to-face with Icho in order to leave the pathway open for her sister to make it to the Olympics with her.
Read more on the Kyodo News site ... here