Tokyo, Feb 2 : Kumi Nakada, head coach of the Japanese women's volleyball team, said on Sunday that her team will strive to win gold at the newly-opened Ariake Arena during the Tokyo Olympic Games. "We are really motivated by so many local fans," said Nakada.
"We hope to make history here. There are only about 130 days until the Tokyo Olympic Games, so we will have to work harder." The Ariake Arena, with a capacity of 15,000, was announced to open at a grand ceremony attended by Tokyo governor Yuriko Koike, Olympic minister Seiko Hashimoto and Yasuhiro Yamashita, president of the Japanese Olympic Committee. The Japanese women's volleyball team won the gold medal when the Olympic Games was last held here in 1964 and went on to win the top honor again at the Montreal Olympics in 1972.
They took bronze in London eight years ago and finished a disappointing fifth in Rio. Nakada hopes to play archrival and defending champion China in the final. "I hope to play China in the semifinals or the final," said Nakada, who as a player led Japan to the title in the 1983 Asian Championships by beating China, which was guided by her Chinese counterpart Lang Ping. Japan beat China in the quarterfinals of the London Olympic Games but lost to China in last year's World Cup at home. The women's volleyball final will be held on August 9, just hours before the Olympic Games closing ceremony kicks off. (XINHUA)