21/07/2021 - 27/07/2021


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Softball Olympic Games 2021 - Official Payoff

Japan's Olympic softball roster to be announced on 23 March, following training camp

Japan's Olympic softball roster to be announced on 23 March, following training camp
The Japan Softball Association will announce their final 15-athlete Olympic roster on 23 March, after the completion of the training camp in Okinawa.

The Japanese Women’s National Softball Team landed yesterday in Yomitan. The team is opening a very important training camp for the Olympic Games. The 17-day camp will conclude on 19 March, and will serve as the last evaluation opportunity prior to 23 March, when the Japan Softball Association (JSA) reveals their official Olympic softball roster of 15 players, who will look to defend Japan's 2008 gold medal. A total of 19 players have been called to the training camp.

“I figured the team members were stressed out because of the situation brought on by COVID-19, so I told them, 'Be energetic, be cheerful and let’s have fun',” said Softball Japan Head Coach Reika Utsugi. “The atmosphere has never been more positive. The players communicate more with each other, and I think the younger ones find it easier, too."

Utsugi says the team doesn’t just practise by the book, but looks to leaders like 2008 gold medal winner Yukiko Ueno and other veterans to voice their opinions about what and how to practise.

"I think that’s good,” said Utsugi.

Due to travel restrictions, Softball Japan had to forego key competitions in Australia and USA.

“I hope we’ll be able to play teams from other countries in May and June, so the players can gain more experience in a real game situation,” added Utsugi.

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Japanese ace Ueno has her spot in the roster secured. However, after the first training session, she left some words to the young athletes who are competing to become a national member: “Do not spoil your strengths.”

Yomitan, a city that was supposed to host the Japanese National Softball Team in March last year, gave the team a warm welcome.

It’s the first meeting of 2021 for the team. Last November, the Japanese squad gathered at Yokohama Stadium, one of the venues for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Softball competition.

Tokyo 2020 – Olympic Softball