Japan's women grapplers take icy plunge
TOKYO (Reuters) - Japan's top women wrestlers celebrated the start of the 2008 Olympic year by plunging into the icy depths of Tokyo Bay in an extreme training exercise.
Olympic gold medallist Saori Yoshida was among those who participated in the New Year's Day swim sponsored by Tokyo's 2016 Games bid committee, officials said on Wednesday.
"I was really fired up about jumping in," said a shivering Yoshida, who won gold in the women's 55kg freestyle at the 2004 Athens Games. "But it was absolutely freezing!"
Following their icy dip, the women, expected to be among Japan's top medal hopes at this year's Beijing Olympics, warmed themselves up in a nearby hot spa resort.
"If you can handle that sort of cold you can handle anything," Athens bronze medallist Kyoko Hamaguchi added. "It makes you feel you can beat anyone."
(Reporting by Alastair Himmer; Editing by John O'Brien)