Tokyo, Japan, May 9, 2016 – The Japan women’s national team are ready to take on another challenge as they compete in the World Olympic Qualification Tournament from May 14 to 22 at the Tokyo Metropolitan Gymnasium.
“All seven matches in the World Olympic Qualification Tournament will be tough,” Japan coach Masayoshi Manabe said. “Last time, before the London 2012 Olympic Games, we had so many difficulties to get through the tournament. Now we can only promise to be united and give our best performance in each match.”
Should Japan qualify for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, they will achieve their fourth consecutive Olympic Games appearance since Athens 2004. This will also highlight Saori Kimura’s first stint as captain of the team in the Olympic Games.
“As I go for my fourth Olympic experience, I personally have a different feeling as compared with the previous ones,” Japan captain Saori Kimura. “My performance, on the other hand, will be the same. My job now as captain is to encourage myself and my team-mates to be motivated in the competition.”
Japan’s young star Sarina Koga, who is a native of Kumamoto, will dedicate her performance to the survivors of the earthquake that struck her province last April.
“I want to uplift the spirit of the people of Kumamoto,” Koga said. “I will give my best performance in this tournament to cheer up my family, friends and the people in the earthquake-stricken areas.”
Japan will face Peru in their opening match at the World Olympic Qualification Tournament, where the top ranked Asian team and the top three ranked teams will get the ticket to the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.