More than 18,500 kilometers separate So Bernardo do Campo, a municipality in the ABC paulista where Hugo Hoyama, from Tokyo, was born. That does not prevent the former table tennis player from feeling at home in the host country of the eighth career Olympiad. In addition to being the grandson of Japanese, in 1985 he spent ten months studying (and training) at Nihon Daigaku, Japan’s largest university.
The emotion is the same as with the Brazilian delegation. For me it will be very special because it is in Japan, which is my second home. I am a descendant, I know the culture well, I have learned a lot and I have many friends, the former table tennis player told Agency in Brazil.
Nine Olympic participations as athletes in one photo
Ligia Silva Sydney 2000, Athens 2004 and London 2012
Hugo Hoyama Barcelona 1992, Atlanta 1996, Sydney 2000, Athens 2004, Beijing 2008 and London 2012
CBTM (@CBTM_TM) July 5, 2021
In Brazil, few know what it’s like to represent the country at an Olympics like Hugo. In addition to the six editions in which he participated as an athlete, between Barcelona (Spain), in 1992 and London (Great Britain), in 2012 he coached the Brazilian women’s table tennis team at the Rio de Janeiro Games in 2016.
Five years later, Hugo is ahead of the women’s team. In Tokyo, he is responsible for a group similar to Rio 2016, with members Bruna Takahashi, Jessica Yamada and Caroline Kumahara, as well as Giulia Takahashi (Bruna’s sister) as deputy. Of the quartet, only Jessica and Giulia did not participate in Rio de Janeiro. The latter is only 16 years old, the same age at which her sister competed in the last Olympics.
Giulia has been with us since acclimatization and [a experincia] it will be very important to her. I’m very happy to have three athletes [titulares] very focused, responsible and disciplined. This makes me feel calm. They know the preparation was not ideal ideaal [por conta da pandemia do novo coronavrus], but that wasn’t ideal for almost every athlete. When you are disciplined and focused, you overcome many things. I’m sure it will, Hugo said.
“They [Bruna, Jssica e Caroline] they are well into the race rhythm, they are done with the European season [de clubes] play strong, many matches. If you stop acting, you lose the rhythm. They were playing. So let’s ensure the best possible preparation to fight for a great result. We were able to arrive in Hamamatsu ten days earlier [cidade a 250 km de Tquio]. This acclimatization is especially important because of the time zone [diferena de 12 horas] and the climate, which is very hot, he added.
The women’s team has been in Tokyo since last Tuesday (20th). Bruna Takahashi and Jessica Yamada will represent Brazil in the individual tournament, which kicks off next Saturday (24). The drawing of the keys took place this Wednesday (21). Number 142 in the ranking of the International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF), Jessica makes her debut in the first round against the Swiss Rachel Moret (87th). If he wins, he will face Hungarian Georgina Pota (53rd). Bruna (48th) goes straight into the second round and becomes the opponent of the winner of the duel between the Egyptian Yousra Helmy (101st) and the Chinese-French Jia Nan Yuan (95th).
Transfer defined for Brazil in #Tokyo2020
CBTM (@CBTM_TM) July 21, 2021
In the women’s team tournament, which brings together 16 countries and takes place between August 1 and 5, Brazil immediately has a quarry: Hong Kong, the fifth best placed team in the ITTF ranking. The Brazilians are in 19th place and are accredited to contest the pre-Olympic title in Lima (Peru) in 2019. If they beat the Asians, the commanders Hugo Hoyama will take Romania (seventh in the ranking) or Egypt ( 17th) in the quarter-finals. In Rio 2016, the debut (with defeat) was against China, the country with the most tradition in the sport.
Those who know table tennis know that the great powers are Asian. China mainly, then Japan, South Korea, Hong Kong and Singapore. But I have a lot of confidence. In the individual, Bruna already starts with an advantage step as one of the seeded, thus beating a top-20, top-30 world athlete [seria um grande resultado]. Jessica, who also makes it to the first or second round. It will be difficult, but there are certainly opportunities, Hugo analyzed.
The focus is for them to come in concentrated so that if they get the chance to beat a high-level player, they’ll be prepared. And they are. It very much depends on the day. I know this well from what I’ve been through in six Olympics [como jogador]. It depends on everyone at the table, me and the opponent, concluded the former table tennis player, whose best Olympic campaign was ninth place in Atlanta (United States), in 1996, when he defeated Sweden’s Jrgen Persson, world champion in 1991.
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