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Full of Waseda Pride, Wrestling Club Athlete Yui Susaki Wins Gold with Incredible Performance, Achieving Her Olympic Goal

Susaki’s victory marks the first gold medal won by a Waseda female athlete (Photo by Kyodo News)

Gold win in women’s 50 kg wrestling marks first gold medal won by a female Waseda athlete at a summer Olympics

Tokyo 2020 Summer Olympics. August 7, 2021. Makuhari Messe A Hall, Chiba.

In the women’s 50 kg wrestling final at the Tokyo Olympics, Waseda Wrestling Club athlete Yui Susaki (4th year student at the School of Sports Sciences) beat China’s Sun Yanan 10-0 to clinch the gold.

Susaki’s victory marks the first gold medal won by a Waseda female athlete, including alumni, at a summer Olympics. Her first-place finish also marks the first gold medal won by a wrestling athlete from Waseda since Yojiro Uetake’s gold victory at the Mexico 1968 Olympics.

Susaki’s facial expression reflects her desire to win gold at all costs (Photo by Kyodo News)

Susaki beat her opponent in a swift 10-0 technical fall, cementing her victory in one minute and 36 seconds. Not losing a single point from the first round onward, she finished in complete victory with a total count of 41-0.

Having fulfilled her vow to “win gold at all costs,” Susaki joyously waved to family over a display screen installed at the venue. On the screen were Susaki’s father, Yasuhiro, and her sister, Mai, both of whom are former Waseda Wrestling Club athletes. Joined by her mother, Kazuyo, they were all overjoyed by Susaki’s victory.

“I am the person I am today thanks to everyone who has worked with me. I’m so thankful,” Susaki said. “This is like a dream. I can’t stop crying, but I will make sure I’m ready to give my best smile at the awards ceremony,” she added, concluding her match with a smile.

Susaki smiles at the awards ceremony (Photo by Kyodo News)

Susaki: “I really want to compete again.”

“I’m so happy to show the gold medal to the family and friends who have believed in and supported me over the years. The gold medal is a like a dream; it doesn’t feel real yet. The medal presenter Icho told me to give it my best next time, which really made me want to compete again. I had the honor of being flag bearer at the opening ceremony, and I had decided to try my best to appear with a smile at the closing ceremony as well, so I’m happy that I’ll actually appear there. Everyone’s support gave me the strength to give it my all. Thank you so much.”

President Aiji Tanaka: “A spectacular display of Waseda pride.”

I offer my sincere congratulations to Yui Susaki for her gold medal victory at the Tokyo Olympics.

This was her first appearance at the Olympics, and she won the gold medal after climbing her way back from a loss at the national preliminary rounds which nearly eliminated her chances of competing at the Olympics. Susaki’s spirit of perseverance, and her refusal to give up on her dream, despite the circumstances, not only inspired Waseda personnel and fans, but also young people around the world.

Her father and sister were Waseda Wrestling Club athletes, and the pride for Waseda that Susaki has cultivated since childhood was on full display thanks to her unsparing effort. I wish her the best in her future endeavors.

Aiji Tanaka
Waseda University President

Yui Susaki cheers after defeating Sun Yanan in a technical fall (Photo by Kyodo News)

Head of Waseda Wrestling Club, Ren Hirayama (School of International Liberal Studies)

“Honestly, I didn’t think Susaki would be this formidable. Her decisive victory with technical falls in all four matches and a 41-0 finish will go down in wrestling history. Even Mikio Oda would have been impressed. I look forward to seeing Susaki continue to grow and become an even stronger competitor.”

Waseda Wrestling Club Coach, Tsukasa Sato

“It was a perfect match. She demonstrated the fruits of her training, particularly her ability to decisively rack up points. Many expected her to win a gold medal, so there was a lot of pressure, but she took the pressure head on and exceeded expectations. I’m happy and proud. This wouldn’t have been possible without the Olympics, so I’m grateful to everyone who helped make it possible amid the pandemic.

Athlete Competitive Results
▽Women’s 50 kg weight class
Yui Susaki (4th year student at Schools of Sports Sciences and Waseda Wrestling Club athlete): Gold Medal

Final: ○ 10 – 0 ● Sun Yanan (China)


Yui Susaki is from Chiba Prefecture and graduated from Abe Gakuin High School. In her second year of junior high school, she moved away from home to attend the JOC Elite Academy Program, where she received special wrestling training. She won the World Championship in 2017 and 2018, the All-Japan Championship in 2018 and 2019, and the Emperor’s Cup in 2019. She has yet to lose to a non-Japanese competitor.

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