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07-30-2007, 07:37 AM #120
07-30-2007, 07:40 AM #121
07-30-2007, 07:43 AM #122
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07-30-2007, 08:33 AM #125
07-31-2007, 01:42 AM #126
07-31-2007, 02:53 AM #127
I am single and in INA we are allowed to have FOUR wives!
08-08-2007, 06:12 AM #128
Olympic Special: BADMINTON/ Kumiko OGURA and Reiko SHIOTA
Medal hopefuls set sights on Beijing
It's exactly a year before the start of the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing and athletes are hard at work preparing for the Games.
We asked five of Japan's likely podium challengers to take a brief rest from their busy schedules to give their thoughts on the Aug. 8-24 Olympics.
Judoka Ryoko Tani is seeking a third-straight gold medal and first as a mother, swimmer Kosuke Kitajima says he wants to win a gold for his coach, table-tennis star Ai Fukuhara has pledged to put in a better performance in her second trip to the Games, while badminton doubles pair Kumiko Ogura and Reiko Shiota say they're ready to make their Olympic dreams a reality.
The Asahi Shimbun
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Kumiko Ogura: I first began thinking about the Olympics when I started playing doubles with Reiko.
We were attending different high schools, but eight years ago when we were both in the first year of senior high school, we were paired off in doubles for the first time at a special all-Japan junior training camp.
It didn't feel like it was our first time together because we were in sync emotionally and there was nothing strange about the pairing. That is what really surprised me.
The following year, people began saying, "You should aim for Beijing," and that's when I began thinking about what it would mean to appear in the Olympics.
Reiko Shiota: Until I was partnered with Kumiko, I wasn't very interested in doubles, but it became more fun because we were beating pairs older than us as well as appearing in international tournaments. When we were deciding what to do after graduating (from senior high school), we talked about trying to end up at the same place. That's how we both ended up with jobs at Sanyo Electric Co.
Ogura: When we failed to qualify for the 2004 Athens Olympics, it really hit home how much I wanted to take part in the Games. I was injured at that time and we had to give up on the qualifying for the Olympics midway through. It was especially frustrating because we are a doubles pair.
Since then, we have tried our best to come out on top. This time, we've decided to make it a four-year challenge to make it to Beijing.
Shiota: I don't think we failed to make the Olympics because Ogucchi (Ogura's nickname) was hurt. At that time, I only had a vague sense of what it meant to go to the Olympics.
However, I realized for the first time that I really wanted to appear in the Olympics when we had to bow out in such an inconclusive sort of way.
Four years ago, it was still an unclear dream of mine, but now it is more than just a goal but something I definitely want to accomplish.
Ogura and Shiota: We are now in the process of participating in various qualifying tournaments overseas for the Beijing Olympics. The competition started in May and will continue until next April.
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Kumiko Ogura, 24, is originally from Mie Prefecture. Reiko Shiota, 23, is originally from Fukuoka Prefecture. The pair won the bronze medal at the 2006 Asian Games.(IHT/Asahi: August 8,2007)
08-08-2007, 06:13 AM #129
08-10-2007, 10:05 AM #130
i think i'll switch to Sanyo
08-10-2007, 10:12 AM #131
last month i met them in Chengdu.Reiko so kawaii !!!! So Q~~
08-10-2007, 10:53 AM #132
08-15-2007, 07:22 PM #133
I like both of them!!!
08-17-2007, 03:11 AM #134
Can someone explain that they both work for Sanyo? Is that mean they are Sanyo employees and not exactly a pro (living off prize winning and endorsement money)? Being from Japan and so pretty, they would get a lot more endorsement money from companies like Yonex which practical own the badminton sport. Anyone has any insight?
08-17-2007, 08:26 AM #135
08-17-2007, 03:38 PM #136
From what I've heard, from interviews and such, they are actually employed by Sanyo, and from the workplace is where the doubles pair met. Sanyo additionally sponsors their sports activities because they are able to go pro. And even in Japan, it's pretty well known that internationally, Badminton is unfortunately not a high paying career, even with endorsements and prize money (It's not like Tennis, with million dollar paychecks), so a 9 to 5 job is probably necessary, especially at their tournament win rate, the Chinese seem to be an unstoppable barrier, I doubt they could make enough to survive a Japanese lifestyle. The only places where badminton can really be made into a career is like China, where the government employs you to play and pays for your lifestyle, and places like Malaysia or Indonesia, where you are pretty much elevated to God-hood for mastering the sport.
But they're doing very well this World Championship. I'm pulling for them!
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