Japan Championships begin! A direct look at the rivals that stand in the way of Rocco Solare! | FRIDAY DIGITAL

Japan Championships begin! A direct look at the rivals that stand in the way of Rocco Solare!

Japan Curling Championships" will start on May 21!

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2 Fortis” aiming for back-to-back championships, and “Chubu Electric Power Company” winning all the way to the bronze medal-winning Rocco

Curling attracted more attention than at the previous PyeongChang Olympics, as Rocco Solare won the silver medal at the Beijing Olympics. With the memory of this success still fresh in our minds, the 5 May 21-29 The Japan Curling Championships will be held from May 21 to 29, 2012. The Japan Curling Championships will be held from May 21 to 29.

The Japanese curling teams, including Loco Solare, Fortius, the champion of the previous Japanese Championships and the team that competed with Loco Solare for the Olympic team, and 2019 Chubu Electric Power Company, which defeated Loco Solare to win the Japan Championships in 2019, and 2018 Chubu Electric Power, which won the 2019 Japan Championship by defeating Loco Solare, and Fujikyu, the 2018 Japan Championship Champion. The competition is expected to be fierce, centered around the “top four” women’s teams.

From the top four, two teams will be selected. From among the top four, Fortius, which is aiming for its second consecutive championship, will be the winner. Among the top four, there will be two consecutive champions, Sayaka Yoshimura of Fortius, the 2022 We interviewed two skips, Sayaka Yoshimura of Fortius, who is aiming for a second consecutive championship, and Ikue Kitazawa of Chubu Electric Power Company, who competed in the World Championships in 2022. We asked them about the characteristics of their rivals, key points of the All-Japan Championships, and the state of their teams (unfortunately, we were unable to interview Fujikyu due to scheduling conflicts).

Rocco Solare’s success at the Beijing Olympics is still fresh in our minds. In curling, unlike other sports, players are often not selected for international competitions, but compete as a team. On the other hand, some countries, such as Great Britain, which won the gold medal at the Beijing Olympics, select their athletes mainly from skip players (Photo: AFLO)

Fortius: Sayaka Yoshimura: “Our strong point is tenacity.

Fortius is a club team that was restarted in December 2021 by Sayaka Yoshimura, Yumie Funayama, Anna Omotani, and Kaho Onodera, all of whom were members of Hokkaido Bank until November 2021, when they became independent. The team now has five players with the addition of Mina Kobayashi. The team won the last Japan Championship, and in the following round to determine Japan’s representative for the Beijing Olympics, they played an evenly matched game against Loco Solare, with the winner fighting for the victory until the very last throw. At this year’s tournament, she is aiming for her second consecutive championship.

Sayaka Yoshimura was born on January 30, 1992 in Tokoro-cho, Kitami, Hokkaido. Competed in the World Junior Championships three years in a row as a university student, winning a bronze medal at the 2013 event. 2021 Japan Curling Championships Champion.
Fortius. From left: Mina Kobayashi, Yumie Funayama, Anna Omotani, Kaho Onodera, Sayaka Yoshimura

–Did you see any changes in the environment under the Fortius system?

Yoshimura 2021 Yoshimura: In December 2021, we will start with the current organization. We started with the current organization in December 2021, and to be honest, I was worried because we did not have any sponsors at the beginning. Now we have 2 top sponsors, 2 official sponsors We now have 2 top sponsors, 2 official sponsors, and 1 support sponsor. I am very happy to have the support of everyone. Thanks to their support, the practice environment has not changed that much, and there have been no major changes since my days at Hokkaido Bank. I am now in an environment where I can concentrate as an athlete, and I am able to practice well so that I can produce solid results for the tournament.

–Yoshimura: Is there anything that you have strengthened since last year?

Yoshimura: We have put a lot of effort into unifying our throwing style as a team. By unifying the throwing style, it becomes easier to read the ice and to make calls. We are also able to improve the accuracy of our shots by aligning the trajectory of the stones as a team.

–Yoshimura: You incorporate ballet stretching into your practice sessions.

Yoshimura: We have been using ballet stretches for about two years now. Yoshimura: It has been about two years since I started using ballet stretching, and I think it has changed the way I use my body. When I throw up-weight (at high speed), my body has become softer, and I am able to transmit power without killing the speed of the stone. I feel that I am getting closer to my ideal form.

–Mental training was also a topic of discussion at the last Japan Championships. Is this something you continue to do now?

Yoshimura: We used to have a full-time coach for the team (Hokkaido Bank), but now I am continuing with another coach on an individual basis rather than as a team. What I was taught during my time at Hokkaido Bank is shared within the team and I still put it into practice.

–How did you see Loco Solare’s performance at the Beijing Olympics?

Yoshimura: We achieved a great result on the Olympic stage, a silver medal, and we wanted to become stronger as well. Also, in the area of communication, everyone was working together to share information about even the slightest change on the ice. Of course, other teams communicate well, but I think the amount of communication is greater than other teams. Even after throwing, we went to Mr. Fujisawa (Satsuki), the skip, and shared information about stones, ice, and bends with the lead, second, third, and sweepers.

–What are your impressions of Chubu Electric Power Company and Fujikyu, the top four teams?

Yoshimura: I have the impression that Chubu Electric Power always plays calmly and makes good shots without hesitation. They are also good at soft weighting, but they are especially good at run-back shots. I have the impression that Fujikyu is good at soft weighting, but their up-weighting accuracy is also improving.

-They also have a matchup with their old foe, Hokkaido Bank.

Yoshimura: I myself am looking forward to it! I hope we can give each other a good performance.

–What is the point of playing against rivals, including Rocco Solare?

Yoshimura: The key is to be able to read the ice at the time and connect shots. The starting time of the game and the ice conditions vary even within the game, so it is important to collect and share as much information as possible, and to be able to adjust and throw well.

–Communication will be a big key.

Yoshimura: We have been making efforts to share more information than ever before. In the past, we were not able to talk when we wanted to share information, so we made a rule that “after someone throws a pitch, this player will come and share information,” and as a result, we have been able to eliminate the problem.

–What are the strengths of Fortius, as you see it?

Yoshimura: I think it is our “tenacity. We lost in the Beijing Olympics qualifying round, but we were able to play with the spirit of not giving up until the last throw. We had a period of not winning until we won the Japan Championships in 2021, but it was our tenacity that kept us going until the deciding match, with the Beijing Olympics as our goal.

–Please tell us about your enthusiasm for the Japan Championships.

Yoshimura: The teams are all very strong, so we cannot let up in each match. We will aim for our best performance and show that we will not give up until the very end. We shared the goal of winning the Japan Championships again as a team, and we have been working hard every day. I think we are well prepared. 1 Match 1 I want to enjoy curling one game at a time.

Chubu Electric Power: Ikue Kitazawa “I am allowed to throw freely.

Chubu Electric Power Company placed 4th at the 2019 World Championships and will also represent Japan at the 2022 World Championships. Although a player tested positive for a new type of coronavirus midway through the tournament and had to withdraw from the competition with one match left in the qualifying round, the team showed its ability to compete on the world stage by remaining in the qualifying round until the very end. 2019 Japan Championships: Chubu won the championship by defeating Loco Solare, a high profile team that won a bronze medal at the PyeongChang Olympics, in all three matches from the qualifying round. From the 2021-2022 season, Ikue Kitazawa will be a skip, and the team’s style of competition is characterized by changing members at each match.

Ikue Kitazawa (born October 12, 1996 in Saku City, Nagano Prefecture) began curling at age 14 and joined Chubu Electric Power’s curling club when she was a senior in high school. won the Japan Curling Championship in 2017 and 2019. 4th place at the 2019 World Championship.
Chubu Electric Power: from left to right: Hazumi Ishigooka, Minori Suzuki, Sena Nakajima, Chiaki Matsumura, Ikue Kitazawa

–How did you feel looking back on your competition at the World Championships?

Kitazawa: 2019 The order and positions were different from the World Championships in 2012, so I reset my mind and hoped for the best. I had to abandon the competition in the middle of the qualifying rounds, but I was able to fight tenaciously in every match and never gave up until the end. Being able to compete well at the Worlds will give me confidence for the Japan Championships.

–Please tell us about the advantages of switching positions and competing in different positions.

Kitazawa: Chubu Electric Power’s strength as a team is that anyone can throw in any position. At the World Championships, besides myself, Matsumura, Nakajima, and Suzuki stood in the house as vice skips. We can compete no matter who is standing in the house, and the replacement of players helps to raise the level of each individual’s ability. There are various opinions about the replacement, but the advantage in terms of fitness is that it reduces the number of matches, which reduces the burden on the sweepers. Also, being able to watch the matches objectively from the reserve seat when they are not playing will be a plus the next time they join the team.

–How did you watch Loco Solare at the Beijing Olympics?

Kitazawa: Rocco Solare’s strengths are their cheerful communication and competitive spirit. I was pleased as a Japanese person to see that in the competition.

–What was your impression of Loco Solare?

Kitazawa: Bright communication is like a team color. Everyone’s strength is improved through communication, and I think that is our strength.

–What is your impression of the top four teams, Fortius and Fujikyu?

Kitazawa: Fortius is always tenacious, and they never give up until the very end. If we make even the slightest mistake, they can catch us off guard. Fujikyu is a team with explosive power. Their style of play is aggressive, as is their strategy, so when they get into their stride, they are strong. All the teams competing are of a high level, so it will be a series of tough games that will not be easy to win. At the Japan Championships, I think the “team in good form” will win, rather than which team, so I want to be in the best shape for the competition.

–What have you strengthened since last year?

Kitazawa: From last season to this season, we have focused on practicing the basic line, which is the space that a single stone can pass through. Without a solid foundation, I could not throw consistently, which was my problem last season, but thanks to the practice, I feel I can throw more consistently than last season.

–Have you changed your throwing awareness since you became a skip?

Kitazawa: I have always been a force player, and I am still throwing last, so there has been no change in my mindset, and I am allowed to throw freely (laughs). (laughs) Since I have become a skip, I mainly make strategies, so when I take an offensive strategy, I am responsible for it, and the more offensive I am, the tougher the shot will be, so I have a strong desire to make a decision in that area. However, to be honest, I am allowed to play without being overconcerned.

–Please tell us about your enthusiasm for the Japan Championships.

Kitazawa: Starting next season, there will be a World Championships related to Olympic points, so I want to win and compete in the World Championships first. I am aiming for the Olympics, so competing in the World Championships is a big goal for me, as it will give me experience in international competitions. I would like to peak well until the Japanese Championships. I know my teammates will make a solid setup (laughs), so I will trust everyone and make a solid strategy.

Japanese curling has begun a new battle for the 2026 Milan Cortina Olympics. The women’s curling scene has become a battle of the top four women’s teams, with Loco Solare, a team with a solid track record, Fortius, a team that has been competing for many years, Chubu Electric Power Company, Fujikyu, the reborn Hokkaido Bank, and SC Karuizawa Club, a team of skilled players, all aiming to change the generation.

  • Reporting and writing Diceke Takahashi

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