A teams competition is a lot different than the singles event. It requires the full cooperation from all members, be it as a sparring partner, as a cheerer, or sometimes even as a coach. Each player is vital for the success -and failure as well- of the team.
The Japanese Women Team of Ai Fukuhara, Kasumi Ishikawa and Sayaka Hirano all come from different teams in Japan. It is indeed difficult for these players to be gathered for training. Despite that small challenge, these players have set themselves one same goal. Its the only way for them to be organized into a strong team.
During the quarterfinals in Dortmund, Fukuhara, Ishikawa, and Hirano all fought their best to gain valuable experience for the upcoming London Olympics. In the Quarterfinals against South Korea, Fukuhara was the first one to set foot in the arena and was successful in offering the first point for the team after winning against Kim Kyung Ah.
Kasumi Ishikawa was also brilliant and got the second point for the team after crushing Seok Ha Jung. However, Sayaka Hirano was not able to carry out success in the third match as she was defeated by Dang Ye Seo. Because Fukuhara was very eager to win the fourth match, she lost to Seok Ha Jung.
The match eventually led to a decider 5th match where the young Kasumi Ishikawa held the biggest responsibility for the team. Ishikawa was able to play well as she used effective techniques against the world's strongest female chopper. However, because she was too impatient in the match, she allowed her opponent to overtake and won the match.
Kim Kyung Ah vs Kasumi Ishikawa 2012 WTTC Dortmund
video kindly shared by Beanny46
The match was actually worthy of recognition. Ishikawa's loss will certainly be a valuable experience for her as she continues in her athletic career.
"If we will meet South Korea once again in London, the Doubles will certainly be the deciding factor for us since the level of our Singles is just comparable." The Japanese coach said.
"Sayaka Hirano is a good defensive player however her offensive power is not enough. In her match against Dang Ye Seo in Dortmund, Hirano's serves did not really benefited her. As of now, improving Hirano's lethality might just be more difficult. However, to make her effective, she should improve on her serves." She added.
"I have learned a lot in the competition. We had the chance to win but we lost it. I felt bad. The level of other teams have improved. In the Olympics, 16 teams will play a knock out format. It will be a matter between life and death from start to finish."
"Fukuhara and Hirano already have experience from the Beijing Olympic Team event. Meanwhile, London will be the first for Kasumi Ishikawa. However, she has good psychological attributes. Our team should just be much stronger especially in tight matches."
"We are the second seeds in the London Olympics so it is really possible for us to avoid China until the finals. After the Beijing Olympics, we had countermeasures in dealing the choppers and it is already showing results. This positive results will continue. In order to obtain the second place in London, we must also work hard in the Doubles. Actually, we have already been in the stage in our training where we are strengthening our players in the Doubles."
"I just regret losing the medals in Dortmund. I am really sorry. We should redeem ourselves in London and get an Olympic medal." She concluded.
Photo source: newshopper.sulekha.com