A Compilation of Japan’s Best Para-Athlete Moments - Second Half of 2019
Look back on the news articles posted to the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) official website, and you get an idea of what the world’s been paying attention to. Here, we’ll introduce you to articles featuring promising Japanese athletes for the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games, chosen from amongst the news articles posted between April 2019 and March 2020. Let’s see which athletes the world has been watching, and what these athletes have been up to.
■ Maya Nakanishi of Athletics is Nominated for Allianz Athlete of the Month
Date: December 9
Maya Nakanishi, who won her very first gold medal in the Women’s Long Jump (T64) event at the World Para Athletics Championships, is named a candidate for Allianz Athlete of the Month for November 2019.
Maya Nakanishi (center), who won a gold medal at the World Para Athletics Championships
■ Japan Women’s Team is Crowned Goalball Champion in the Asia/Pacific
Date: December 11
The Japan women’s goalball team bests China and is crowned champion of the 2019 IBSA Goalball Asia/Pacific Championships (Chiba City) for the third time in a row.
■ Haruka Wakasugi of Goalball is Nominated for Allianz Athlete of the Month
Date: January 13
Haruka Wakasugi helped lead the Japan women’s goalball team to its third consecutive victory by scoring 10 goals through the course of the 2019 IBSA Goalball Asia/Pacific Championships, and being the team’s scorer. She is named a candidate for January’s Allianz Athlete of the Month.
Haruka Wakasugi led the Japan women’s team to its Asia title (Photo from the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games)
■ Spotlight on Shingo Kunieda for Australian Open and Grand Slam Personal Record
Date: January 28
Shingo Kunieda works towards his tenth Australian Open title. Anticipation also mounts for his personal record of Grand Slam titles.
■ Shingo Kunieda Wins the Australian Open, Tying World Record for Grand Slam Wheelchair Titles
Date: February 2
Shingo Kunieda wins the Men’s Singles event of the Australian Open, tying the world record for Grand Slam wheelchair titles, with 44 titles.
Shingo Kunieda, who won the Australian Open
■ Shingo Kunieda of Wheelchair Tennis is Nominated for Allianz Athlete of the Month
Date: February 6
Shingo Kunieda, who won his tenth Australian Open, and who tied the world record for Grand Slam wheelchair titles, is named a candidate for February’s Allianz Athlete of the Month.
■ Wakako Tsuchida Aims to Compete in Home Country Paralympic Games
Date: February 25
Wakako Tsuchida, the first Japanese athlete to win gold medals in both the Summer and Winter Paralympic Games, aims to compete in the Triathlon event of the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games for the seventh time.
Wakako Tsuchida aims to compete in the Tokyo Paralympic Games for athletics and triathlon
(Photo from the London 2012 Paralympic Games)
photo by X-1
■ Shingo Kunieda Vows to Make Up for Rio Loss at the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games
Date: February 27 [News about Tokyo 2020]
Shingo Kunieda, who won gold medals in the Athens 2004, Beijing 2008, and London 2012 Paralympic Games, was eliminated in the quarter-finals of the Men’s Singles event at the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games. Kunieda tells us that he reevaluated everything about his performance after Rio 2016, and has vowed to make up for the loss in Tokyo 2020.
Through these articles, we can see the growing anticipation for athletes like Japanese legend Shingo Kunieda and for Summer/Winter Paralympians like Wakako Tsuchida and Keiichi Sato, as we head towards the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games. What sort of news will 2020, and 2021, bring in terms of Japanese athletes? We hope from the bottom of our hearts that the spread of the novel coronavirus, which has had an immense impact on the world of parasports as well, is contained as soon as possible—bringing the joys of sports back to our everyday lives.
Check another article:
A Compilation of Japan’s Best Para-Athlete Moments – First Half of 2019
IPC Official Website:
*World rankings are as of the date the articles were published
text by TEAM A
photo by Getty Images Sport