JAPANESE freestyle wrestler Hiroyuki Oda won a silver medal in the 60kg class at the Asian Games, despite waging a courageous fight against cancer.
Oda was diagnosed with thyroid cancer this summer, but the feisty 22-year old still decided to participate in the world championships in September, the Chinese daily the Metropolitan Express reported.
After the tournament, Oda immediately returned to Japan to have the tumour and his thyroid gland removed, but was soon back training for the Asian Games, it said.
Doctors said he was lucky that he had discovered the cancer in the early stages and there was a likelihood there would be no further complications.
“It’s no big deal,” Oda said. “I don’t want to use this as an excuse.”
After losing his Tuesday gold medal match with Mandakhnaran Ganzorig of Mongolia, Oda was in tears.
“I didn’t attack enough. This has always been my problem,” Oda said. “The silver medal does not mean anything.” — AFP