04 Sep 2016

After a decade of service for the Japanese National Team, Yazakazu Murakami, women's team head coach, has already resigned from his post. This was announced recently, following an assembly held in Tokyo last weekend. From the words of Murakami himself, it seems that the team would want to give more opportunities to the personal coaches of their players.

By Henry Chen 

“I need to allow the personal coaches of the players to perform their role,” Yazakazu Murakami said.

Coming from a triumphant journey in Rio de Janeiro, the Japanese Table Tennis Association held a meeting last August 27 in Tokyo. The meeting lasted for more than four hours which focused on their preparation for the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games.

The assembly didn’t just produce planning and devising. It also announced a big change especially in the side of the Japanese Women’s Team. It was made public that Yazakazu Murakami has resigned from his position as head coach of the Japanese Women’s Team,.

This seems that the plan of the Japanese Team is to give more opportunities for the personal coaches to assist their respective players during competitions.

Murakami has served the Japanese National Team for a decade, and the 2012 London Olympic Games is regarded to be his biggest achievement in his career.

The silver medal won from the Women’s Team event in London was the first ever Olympic table tennis medal the Japanese Team has ever took in history. Aside from that, the medal came three days after Kasumi Ishikawa lost the Olympic Singles bronze against Singaporean Feng Tianwei.

Murakami in tears after his team won against Singapore in the 2012 Olympic Women’s Team semifinals. (Photo from Marwan Naamani/Getty Images)

The usually composed and unmoved Murakami, at that time, can’t help but shed his tears of victory and joy. It was truly an emotional moment for the whole team, more especially for Yazakazu Murakami.

This time, the Japanese Women’s Team failed to maintain the silver in the Olympic Team event. Ai Fukuhara, Kasumi Ishikawa and Mima Ito were startled by the German Team in the semifinals. They ended the Rio Olympic Games with a bronze, defeating Singapore in the process.

“As of now, there are still no candidates for the next head coach of the women’s team. This will be decided on the Council on September,” Masahiro Maehara, Vice President of the Japanese Table Tennis Association and ITTF Executive Vice President said.

Yazakazu Murakami’s last Olympic Games, winning bronze with his team. (Photo from Sina Sports)
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