Sports

Australian Open champ Osaka rises to women’s world No. 1

MELBOURNE (Kyodo) — Naomi Osaka was officially installed as the new women’s world’s No. 1 singles player on Jan. 28 after her weekend victory in the Australian Open final. The 21-year-old Japanese, who has now won the last two Grand Slams, is the first player from Asia to ascend to the top of either the […]

HOOP DREAMS: Yuta Watanabe ready to make his NBA dream a reality

TOKYO — After scoring 18 points to help Japan beat Iran in a World Cup qualifier in Tokyo on Sept. 17, Yuta Watanabe’s mind quickly turned to the United States where he will soon be fighting to make a name for himself on basketball’s biggest stage. The 23-year-old finished his four-year collegiate career at George […]

Naomi Osaka stayed above the fray to claim first Grand Slam title

NEW YORK  — As Serena Williams’ U.S. Open final crumbled around her on Sept. 8, Japan’s Naomi Osaka said she had to stay above the fray in order to keep her historic run to Grand Slam history alive. With code violations, broken rackets, tears and accusations of cheating coming from Williams’ end of the court, Osaka […]

Despite disappointment, Japan can take pride

ROSTOV-ON-DON, Russia — Following a tumultuous and at-times controversial journey to the knockout stage, Japan came close to reaching their first-ever World Cup quarterfinals on July 2 before having their hearts broken by a last-gasp Belgium goal. In a turn of events few would have predicted, the Samurai Blue fought their way to a 2-0 […]

Japanese baseball ‘Iron Man’ Kinugasa, son of African American, dead at 71

TOKYO — Hall of Famer Sachio Kinugasa, whose 2,215 consecutive games remain a Japanese record, died of colon cancer April 23 aged 71, people familiar with the matter said. Nicknamed “Iron Man,” Kinugasa played for the Hiroshima Carp from 1965 to 1987 and was the Central League’s 1984 MVP. He is tied for fifth in […]

Kawauchi becomes first Japanese runner to win Boston Marathon since 1987

BOSTON — Yuki Kawauchi became the first Japanese runner in 31 years to win the Boston Marathon after besting the men on April 16 with a time of 2 hours, 15 minutes, 58 seconds to earn his first World Marathon major title. Kawauchi endured the coldest start in 30 years, strong winds and heavy rain […]

‘Japanese Babe Ruth’ Shohei Ohtani dominant on the mound, at the plate

In his major league pitching debut in Oakland, Calif. and in his home pitching debut in Anaheim, Shohei Ohtani, the highly touted two-way player from Japan, earned the wins as the Los Angeles Angels beat the Oakland Athletics, 7-4, on April 1 and again, 6-1, on April 8. Sandwiched between his wins, Ohtani belted three […]

Speaking the language of karate for the Tokyo Olympics

As if fluency in both English and Japanese wasn’t enough, Gakuji Tozaki has used a different type of skill as a means to positively express his Japanese American identity. Through karate, the 26-year-old is aiming to represent the country of his birth in the land of his ancestry in the biggest sporting event in the […]

Kim wins halfpipe to continue U.S. snowboard supremacy

PYEONGCHANG, South Korea — Chloe Kim won her first Olympic gold medal in snowboarding at the Pyeongchang Games on Feb. 12 by blowing away her opponents with a near-perfect score in the women’s halfpipe. Kim sealed the win when China’s Liu Jiayu failed to top the American’s first score of 93.75 points on her third […]

Jumping into the history books

A piece of figure skating history was written in the women’s free skate when Mirai Nagasu became the first American woman to land a triple axel in Olympic competition Feb. 12. Nagasu, 24, finished with a 137.53 overall score, second-best of the women’s free skate, giving the U.S. nine points in the team competition. “Four […]

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