22 September, 2022
01 October
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Japan ace Takada using Sydney to move on from post-Olympic sadness

SYDNEY (Australia) - Maki Takada has revealed it didn't take long for the emotional high of Japan proudly making history at Tokyo 2020 to be replaced with a feeling of emptiness.

The joy of winning a first ever silver medal evaporated soon after the celebrations had subsided - mirroring the experience of former head coach Tom Hovasse, who's spoken about having had a similar experience.

"I felt the same way as Coach Tom and it was a difficult time for many of us when Tokyo finished," admitted Takada.

"We had all worked so hard together as a group to show the very best of Japan basketball and then suddenly, even though we were successful at the Olympics, this aim was over and I felt really sad."

Having worked intensely with her colleagues for many years in the extended lead-up to the event. it was probably no surprise there was a sense of profound loss when the mission was over.

Fast forward to the current day and the FIBA Women's Basketball World Cup in Sydney has given Takada and Co a refreshed sense of purpose and the fuel for a feel good factor to rise up.

Japan is facing a tough initial test in the highly competitive Group B with games against the likes of Australia, France, Serbia and Canada, so will have to be at their best if they want to improve on a mediocre record in the tournament. They have only won 4 of their last 15 games,

However, taking the second step of the podium in Tokyo has given them a major reason to believe they can snap up a first FIBA Women's Basketball World Cup medal since 1975.

She said: "Having this tournament now means that I can lift myself up to another very high goal like we did for the Olympics and it is our aim to try and win gold.

"That is the level we continue to aim for and we are ready to fight and show our best.

"Because of our result in Tokyo when we made the Final, we have all gained so much confidence when we go to play other teams. We have proven that we can play against anybody in the world," concluded Takada.