All Japan newsese wrestling star Saori Yoshida was given the “People’s Honour Award” and a gold-colored pearl by prime minister Yoshihiko Noda, as a recognition of her merits at the Olympic and world championships competitions over the years.
The jewellery, worth an estimated $20,300, was given to Yoshida at her own request. When prime minister Noda asked her two weeks ago what she wanted as reward, she answered that a gold-colored pearl would mean a recognition of the pearl-producing region she comes from.
Noda presented her a necklace with a pearl that is 13 millimeters in diameter. “Here is the golden pearl you requested. It’s 13 millimeters because you won 13 straight titles,” Noda told the 30-year-old wrestler.
The ceremony took place at Noda’s executive mansion and the prime minister was dressed in a black kimono.
Yoshida won her third straight Olympic gold in August and her 10th consecutive world title in September. “I really feel so happy that I cannot say a word,” she told reporters after the ceremony.