Thursday, February 29, 2024

Japan eye World Cup-Olympic double

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TOKYO: Japan captain Homare Sawa vowed Tuesday to go for gold at next year’s London Olympics as her squad returned home to a hero’s welcome following their historic triumph at the women’s World Cup.

“It’s human nature to want more,” Sawa, with a gold medal hanging from her neck, told a packed news conference at a hotel in Tokyo after the team arrived at the capital’s Narita airport, thronged by 400 fans and 250 media people.

The gutsy 32-year-old playmaker added: “With this gold medal in front of me, I really feel that my next goal is to grab the Olympic gold medal as we have yet to get any medal at the Olympics.”

Japan, who finished fourth at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, came from behind twice to beat world-number ones and twice champions the United States 3-1 on penalties in the final of the World Cup in Frankfurt on Sunday.

It was the first football World Cup title for any Asian country and lifted spirits in Japan, which has been recovering from the March 11 earthquake and tsunami. (Agencies)

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