Page Nav

HIDE

Grid

GRID_STYLE

Classic Header

{fbt_classic_header}
latest

Japan's Koko Tsurumi, a Timid yet Powerful Presence that Lifts her Team to Top 8

This quad has gotten more interesting as we see new strong teams like Great Britain and Japan elevating the global gymnastics scene. If th...

This quad has gotten more interesting as we see new strong teams like Great Britain and Japan elevating the global gymnastics scene. If the force behind Great Britain’s tremendous growth is Beth Tweddle, then the force behind Japan ought to be two time- Olympian (2008 and 2012) and double World medalist Koko Tsurumi.

Traditionally a top MAG team, Japan’s women had not been able to attain the achievements of their male counterparts. Things changed since Koko came. In the 2008 Beijing Olympics, the Japanese WAG team finished with a historic 5th in the team finals. Their superb bars and beam (Koko’s best two events) scores saved them, as their vault and floor scores were ranked 8th among all teams. Team Japan continued their team finals streak as they have been qualified into each team finals ever since. 

In the competitive WAG landscape, Koko’s constant presence in the AA and bars finals, mostly as the sole Japanese finalist or highest Japanese placer, reminds us that Team Japan is eligible for greatness. As a bars specialist, Koko is known for her clean pirouettes and in-control swings. On beam, she demonstrated great courage by holding onto the beam during the 2009 Worlds EF, despite having a meltdown on the same even in the Olympics the previous year. She also has one of the most beautiful Onodis ever. 

As the first woman to win a World medal in more than four decades, Koko’s story was an inspiration for many youngsters back home. It also makes Japan realise its potential in WAG. Thanks to Koko, we see more talented Japanese girls like Asuka Teramoto, Mai Marukami and Sae Miyakawa competing at top levels. It is expected that team Japan will be even more threatening on home soil in the 2020 Olympics. Will they be able to win a historic Olympic medal by then, or earlier? Only time will tell. With Koko’s success to refer to, the Japanese WAG team is looking more confident each competition. It should not be long until they make new history. 

Written by Valerie Theodora Ko




No comments