Monday, April 15, 2024

Japan aims to raise hockey profile at Tokyo Olympics

Tokyo 2020 has launched its ‘Let’s 55 Virtual Experience’, a project that aims to showcase what it looks and feels like as a top-level athlete. The project aims to cover all 55 sports on the Tokyo 2020 Games programme.

As far as hockey goes, Samurai Japan’s Ohashi Masaki spoke to Tokyo 2020 on how he started in the sport and what makes hockey so appealing

“When I was in second grade my brother asked me to come with him, and that’s when I started playing hockey. I’m 27 now so I’ve been playing for twenty years. When I was a kid, there was a local lifting competition and I wanted to win, so I started practising every day.

“I remember how much I enjoyed trying to lift the ball with my hockey stick one time more than the previous day. Thanks to all those days practicing, I acquired good ball control and can maneuver the ball and the stick better. Try lifting for yourself! It will definitely improve your skills.

“Of course I would like us to win the gold medal at the Tokyo 2020 Games, but I also hope the Games would help promote hockey as well. ‘Samurai Japan’ is known for great teamwork.

“Whether it’s defence or offence, the whole team participates and supports each other. Rather than dribbling your way forward in offence, we pass the ball around. In defence, if the opponent dribbles past one of our guys, there’s always another guy, then a third guy trying to stop him. I hope everybody will notice how we work as a team.”

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