TOKYO (November 7) – Three-time Olympic gold medalist Saori Yoshida received the People's Honor Award from Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda to mark her winning a record 13 straight world-level championship titles.
Yoshida won her third Olympic gold medal at 55kg in London over the summer and came back with her 10th world title in Strathcona County, Canada in September.
Yoshida's 13th world-level championship title lifted her past greco-roman great Alexander Kareline (RUS), who won three Olympic Games gold medals and nine world titles from 1988 to 1999.
Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda presented the award to Yoshida, making her the 20th recipient since the prize was established by the Japanese government in 1977.
Other Japanese sports greats to have been awarded the People's Honor Award include Sadaharu Oh (baseball, 1997), Yasuhiro Yamashita (judo, 1984), and the women's soccer national team (2011).
Along with the award, Yoshida also received a special necklace made with a golden pearl from her native Mie Prefecture.