Japanese medals keep on flowing at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang

Japanese medals keep on flowing at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang

Kanako Itamae and Sawako Uchida

Modern Tokyo Times      

Japanese competitors are in a rich vein of form in South Korea because the medals keep on flowing at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang. Indeed, with a little bit more luck, the elusive gold medal would have been won by now because of several near misses. Despite this, four silver medals and three bronze medals show that Japanese competitors are in fine form.

Female speed skaters Nao Kodaira and Miho Takagi have won three medals already for Japan in this most attractive of sports. For Takagi, she claimed her second medal after earlier collecting a silver medal. However, this time Takagi took bronze in the 1,000-meters, just behind Kodaira who took silver.

In the individual Nordic combined normal hill for men, Akito Watabe took a splendid silver medal. Hence, just like in the 2014 Winter Olympics, Watabe took the same silver medal once more. This highlights the enormous consistency of Watabe who hails from Nagano Prefecture.

The 19-year-old Ayumu Hirano, in the Snowboard Halfpipe for men, won another silver medal for Japan. He, like other Japanese competitors, fell tantalizingly short after leading with just one competitor to take his final run. However, sadly for Hirano, the last competitor was the legendary Shaun White representing America who took gold despite the enormous pressure.

Hirano said, “I’ve practiced over these past four years aiming for a better result… I still feel disappointed, but I did the best I could. I enjoyed it.”

The two other current medalists are Daichi Hara and Sara Takanashi. Both individuals took bronze medals in their respective events. This applies to Hara winning his medal in the men’s moguls event and Takanashi taking her medal in the individual ski jump for women.

Notably, for Takanashi, it is hoped that her confidence will gain greatly and enhance her future career after her huge disappointment at the Olympics held in Sochi. She said, Over the [past] four years, I have used my feelings of frustration as a catalyst to train hard.” 

Lee Jay Walker at Modern Tokyo Times says, “All performers gave everything and for Takagi, with two medals in the bag, the future looks bright and the same applies to many Japanese competitors. Indeed, the flop for Takagi not reaching the last Olympics is abundantly visible because it made this amazing athlete become even more determined. Therefore, with such tenaciousness in athletes like Takagi, then this passion will continue to rub off on other Japanese athletes.”

Hopefully, the medals will keep on flowing for Japan!

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