Friday, May 23, 2008

Japan Women's National Volleyball Team qualifies for Beijing Olympics

(photo shamelessly stolen from Megumi Kurihara's blog)

The Japan Women's National Volleyball Team beat their Asian rivals South Korea 25-20, 25-19, 21-25, 25-13 to clinch a berth to the Beijing Olympics. The women placed 5th in the 2004 Olympics and the team is currently ranked 8th in the world. Japan won the gold in '64 and '76 but haven't placed in the top three at the Olympics since 1984. The sport has seen a sort of resurgence in popularity in Japan as of late and recent tournaments involving the team have been broadcast during Golden Time.

Some of the popularity of the women's team is due in part to the team's young stars such as Megumi Kurihara 栗原恵 (Princess Megu プリンセス・メグ) and the way the team is marketed. Several team members have only their given names printed on their uniforms and some go by nicknames (Miyuki Takahashi 高橋みゆき goes by the name Shin). Kurihara, who graduated from high school in Hofu City, Yamaguchi, is extensively featured on the covers of volleyball magazines.

Volleyball at the Beijing Olympics will be held from August 9, 2008 to August 24, 2008


tricia said...

From the looks of that picture, LOTS of people were there. That's pretty good for volleyball. Can't get that kind of attendance here.

Keep up the good works with your blogs. They're really enjoyable to read.

lostinube said...

Yeah, women's volleyball isn't very popular in the states. Well, at the college level it can be popular. The University of Hawaii Rainbow Wahine (women's volleyball team) consistently packs the arena and is a big draw in Hawaii but the sport overall doesn't get much national coverage.

Agh. The Japan team just lost to Serbia in five sets. No shame there though since Serbia is ranked ahead of them.

Deas said...

I saw the final qualifying game on television, and it was a great show! I was so stoked. I'll be rooting for them at the Olympics, too, of course. (Again, from Japan, via my television.)

nicole said...

saw this match at a little bar in ehime. i couldn't believe how TALL some of those girls were. Simply giants!!

lostinube said...

Did you guys watching in Japan notice that there were cheerleaders at the game? I can understand Hey!Say!Jump! or whatever they are called but cheerleaders?

Next up is the men. The men don't get nearly as much coverage as the women. Not as cute I guess.

Carl said...

News is pretty impressive that the Japan Women's National Volleyball Team beat their Asian rivals South Korea, by handsomely,even though excellent to examine.

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