Since last year, Japanese women’s doubles have sprung up, and soon replaced South Korean Lee Kyung won/Lee Hyo jung as a new force to compete with the powerful China women’s doubles. Even Tian Bingyi, head coach of China women’s doubles, said: Japanese women’s doubles have made rapid progress in recent years, and their impact on us has surpassed that of the Korean team to some extent.
At present, the Japanese team has three pairs of strong women’s doubles, among which Reiko Shiota/Kumiko Ogura, who is called a beauty group by many media, has the best record and can be called the first women’s doubles in Japan today.
Childhood opponent, today’s partner
Reiko Shiota and Kumiko Ogura started practicing badminton just by learning to play. After practicing badminton, they have different joys and sorrows. On September 30th, 1983, Reiko Shiota was born in Fukuoka Prefecture. In the first grade of primary school, at the invitation of her friends, she entered Kyoto Club, a famous badminton school in Japan, and began to practice badminton. Reiko Shiota, who was just going to have fun at first, underwent "devil training" at school. She not only had to practice basic skills, but also ran marathons. It was common for her to be beaten for being lazy. In her memory, she never felt that playing badminton was a happy thing.
On July 5, 1983, Kumiko Ogura was born in Mie Prefecture. At the age of 8, influenced by her sister, she began to practice badminton. Like Reiko Shiota, Kumiko Ogura just started playing and just learned to play. But unlike her future partner, playing ball is a kind of enjoyment for Kumiko Ogura. She likes to fight for every point and doesn’t like to have a rest.
In the sixth grade, Reiko Shiota and Kumiko Ogura met for the first time. Reiko Shiota beat Kumiko Ogura in the women’s singles quarter-final of the Japanese national primary school competition. Now, Reiko Shiota has no impression of the game, but Kumiko Ogura has a deep memory. She said that it was very good to play in Chaotian at that time, not like a primary school student at all. In the second grade of junior high school, the two met again in the women’s singles semi-final of the Japanese youth competition, and Reiko Shiota won again.
Two years later, the two men who entered high school were first put together in a youth training camp in Japan. At the beginning of the cooperation, they felt very tacit understanding, which was nothing like the first cooperation. Later, they were arranged to train with older players. Reiko Shiota said: "When I first cooperated with Xiao Yun, I was not very interested in doubles, but it was a pleasure to beat the older players in the competition." After graduating from high school, Reiko Shiota and Kumiko Ogura joined Sanyo Electric Company and started working and training together.
Stiffness and softness complement each other.
Looking at the game between Reiko Shiota and Kumiko Ogura, we can find that their styles are very different-Reiko Shiota is gentle when hitting the ball, but Kumiko Ogura is powerful; Reiko Shiota likes to observe his opponents in the game and plays strategically. Kumiko Ogura prefers to confront his opponent directly.
On the field, Reiko Shiota is a careful person. She always leads Kumiko Ogura like a commander and creates opportunities for her to attack. Off the court, Reiko Shiota is like a careless sister. Every training session, Kumiko Ogura will gather 10 minutes in advance, while Reiko Shiota is not so punctual. When staying in a hotel for a competition abroad, Kumiko Ogura always gets up early and is responsible for waking Reiko Shiota up. The key to the door is also kept by a careful little coffin.
Reiko Shiota feels that her psychological quality still needs to be strong. She hopes to participate in more competitions and accumulate experience, so as to build her confidence. Kumiko Ogura is always confident, and her spike speed reaches 260 km/h, making her a rare heavy gunner in the Japanese women’s team. Kumiko Ogura likes to entertain foolish ideas at ordinary times, so Reiko Shiota encourages her not to be influenced by others, and to have her own opinions. After they joined Sanyo Electric Company in 2002, they were strongly trained by China’s coach Ding Qiqing, and their level rose rapidly.
Their different personalities make them form a good complement on and off the court, and they gradually become the best women’s doubles players in Japan. In 2004, Reiko Shiota/Kumiko Ogura won the Japanese women’s doubles championship for the first time, and qualified for the Athens Olympic Games. Unfortunately, because Kumiko Ogura broke his left little finger before the Olympic Games, they failed to board the flight to Athens.
Athens regrets Beijing’s bid for medals
When Kumiko Ogura participated in the national competition in the sixth grade, her parents joked that "you can go to the Olympic Games in the future". After she really qualified for the Olympic Games but lost the opportunity, Xiao Yun was very disappointed. She recalled: "It was really frustrating to quit the competition because of injury. After that, I made up my mind to challenge the Beijing Olympic Games four years later. " Reiko Shiota said, "When I was a child, I never thought about the Olympic Games at all, and I didn’t think I had the talent to be an athlete. It was not until Xiao Yun invited me to join Sanyo Electric Company that we began to participate in the Olympic points competition and saw the possibility of participating in the Olympic Games. I want to thank Xiao Yun. Without her, I can’t go to the Olympic Games alone. "
At the 2004 Athens Olympic Games, Reiko Shiota and Kumiko Ogura were spectators sitting in front of the TV. Kumiko Ogura secretly vowed that she would stand on the Olympic stage one day after seeing "Miss Judo" Gu Liangzi win the first gold medal in Athens Olympic Games for the Japanese team.
Since 2005, Reiko Shiota and Kumiko Ogura have stood out in international competitions, and they have spread their dream wings to fly towards the Beijing Olympic Games. In the 2005 Danish Open, they defeated China’s Zhang Yawen/Zhang Dan and England’s Ames/Clogg successively, and won the women’s doubles gold medal in this five-star international competition for the Japanese team.
In the 2006 Asian Games in Doha, Reiko Shiota/Kumiko Ogura met China’s Yang Wei/Bonita in the semi-final, and they lost to their opponents after three sets of bitter battles. Despite losing to Yang Wei/Bonita in succession, Reiko Shiota/Kumiko Ogura is making progress. By playing against the players from China, they found out the ball path of Yang Wei/Bonita and improved their confrontation ability. In 2007, they met Yang Wei/Bonita for the sixth time in the quarterfinals of Malaysian Super Tournament, and defeated their opponents for the first time, resulting in a big upset.
At the World Championships in August this year, Kumiko Ogura and Reiko Shiota were ranked as the sixth seeds, and they will make it to the semi-finals. In the semi-final, Kumiko Ogura and Reiko Shiota took advantage of the disadvantage of both Gao Kun and Huang Sui, and created a lot of trouble for Gao Kun/.Although they lost the game, they still created their best record in the World Championships.
Now, Reiko Shiota/Kumiko Ogura, whose record and appearance are equally outstanding, not only appear in badminton teaching programs of major Japanese TV stations, but also serve as beverage spokespersons, publish photo albums and appear in movies, and even coach Ding Qiqing laments their high popularity. Ding Qiqing said that Reiko Shiota/Kumiko Ogura had a relaxed mentality when they played. They trained five days a week, working in the morning and training in the afternoon. Although there is a big gap with China’s athletes in strength and speed, they still set the goal of winning medals in the Beijing Olympic Games. At present, Reiko Shiota/Kumiko Ogura’s primary goal is to do a good job in the Olympic points competition, enter the top 16 in the world, and ensure the qualification for the Olympic Games.
One year before the Beijing Olympic Games, Reiko Shiota/Kumiko Ogura expressed his earnest expectation for the Olympic Games next year in an interview with the Japanese newspaper Asahi Shimbun. Reiko Shiota said: "The Olympic Games four years ago was still a vague dream for me. Now, it is not only a goal, but also something I must accomplish." Kumiko Ogura, on the other hand, said that we must turn the regrets four years ago into the driving force for progress. They believe that they will have a day in dreams may come at the 2008 Olympic Games.
Editor: Shuo Yang