Japan women head to the 2019 Asia Oceania Championships in Pattaya, Thailand, with a little less pressure and have an eye on getting the team equipped for Tokyo 2020.

Japan’s Head Coach, Yoshiaki Iwasa, has made four changes from the team that finished third at the 2017 Asia Oceania Championships, missing out on qualification for the 2018 World Championships. He has opted for the majority of the team that finished second at the 2018 Asia Para Games, with Mika Oshima coming back into the side to replace Momoko Suzuki.

Discussing the team selected and their preparation, Iwasa, said:

“I selected the best members at this moment looking ahead to the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games. They are quick, capable of corresponding to transition, and competing against a team with height.

“We’ve had monthly training camps, we set goals every time and the consequence of this is that our accuracy and strength of offence and defence are improving.”

Japan’s captain, Ikumi Fujii, said:

“I again realise my responsibility that I was selected. I will fight it out keeping gratitude in my mind. As a captain, I will lead my team so that they can compete always positively. Our team goal is the Gold medal. With the word “Unity”, we are keeping good training with plenty of communication among team members.”

Already guaranteed a place at Tokyo as the hosts, Fujii is clear regarding the opposition they face in this tournament:

 “I think in the women’s division the main contenders will be Japan, China, and Australia. We will compete with the China team – 4th place in the previous World Championships – for the first time since the 2018 Asian Para Games. We never forget the chagrin at the Asia Para Games, and we have been training hard. We will definitely aim to win against China and Australia and come in first place of the Asia Oceania Championships.”

Iwasa agreed with his captain on their main challengers:

“Our goal is the Gold medal! We are already qualified as a host country, but for me because of China and Australia’s height and speed, I think both these teams will also qualify.”

Japan will play a double round robin in Division 1 against China and Australia to decide placings for the semi-finals. The winner of Division 2 will then take up the fourth spot in the semi-final pairings. Japan will tip-off against Australia on Saturday 30th November at 11:30am (local time)

Team Roster

Shirt Number Player Name Sport Class Age
2 Izumi Zaima 1 22
4 Amane Yanagimoto 2.5 21
7 Mayumi Tsuchida 4 42
10 Mayo Hagino 1.5 26
12 Ikumi Fujii 4 37
14 Chinami Shimizu 3 37
15 Mari Amimoto 4.5 31
18 Chihiro Kitada 4.5 30
19 Yui Kitama 1 25
22 Emi Yasuo 2 26
26 Mika Oshima 1.5 48
88 Rie Odajima 2.5 30

 

 

Japan’s Past Results

World Championships
2014 – 9th
2010 – 7th
2006 – 6th
2002 – 4th
1998 – 4th
1994 – 7th
Paralympic Games
2008 – 4th
2004 – 5th
2000 – 3rd Bronze
1996 – 5th
1992 – 6th
1988 – 5th
1984 – 3rd Bronze

 

Photo courtesy of INAPGOC/Ivan N. Patmadiwiria