Grand Slam! Japanese Wrestler Risako Kawai Celebrates Gold by Throwing Coach on Mat After Win

The first-time Olympian had a fun idea to thank her coach after her victorious championship match

Photo: Julian Finney/Getty

The wrestling didn’t stop after the championship match for Risako Kawai in Rio.

The Japanese wrestler, 21, won the gold medal in the women’s 63-kg freestyle on Thursday, and celebrated in style by slamming down her coach, Kazuhito Sakae. The post-win video shows Sakae walking over to congratulate the elated Kawai and just as they embrace, the gold medalist throws her coach to the mat – twice!

Both coach and player were smiling and laughing throughout the short clip, celebrating Kawai’s dominant 3-0 vicotry against Belarus’s Maria Mamashuk. Kawai later credited her coach’s support for earning Japan’s fourth gold medal in women’s wrestling in the Rio Games.

“My coach told me to keep a cool head and be daring, and I always had it in my mind to attack,” Kawai told The Japan Times of Sakae, a former Olympian who competed in the 1988 Games.

Kawai also told reporters the slam was pre-planned and pre-approved by her 53-year-old coach.

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“Before the final, the coach said he wanted me to lift him on his shoulders,” the first-time Olympian said. “The three wrestlers the previous day all won gold so they got to do that, and I said I wanted to be first to slam him and he let me do it.”

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