Credit: Badminton Photo

- I want to win gold in Tokyo

11/8/2018 3:57 PM |  BadmintonEurope.com |  Annika Langrock
Nozomi Okuhara is 23 years old and ambitious. The Japanese Women’s Singles player is the current number six in the world and aims for more: winning the Olympics at home in Tokyo. 

In 2002, Okuhara started to play badminton. Today, she is one of the best players in the world. Currently world-ranked number six, the Women’s Singles player has participated in more than 15 tournaments this year. 

The highlights for Okuhara in Women’s Singles so far: Winning the TOYOTA Thailand Open and the VICTOR Korea Open, reaching the final of the DAIHATSU YONEX Japan Open and playing in the quarter-final of the TOTAL BWF World Championships. 

A successful 2018 

Furthermore, Okuhara won the Asian Games in Jakarta with the Japanese Women’s Team in August. 

- 2017 was tough for me, I had an injury. So, 2018 was definitely a better year, I am very happy with what I have achieved so far, Okuhara revealed to Badminton Europe.

In 2017, Okuhara was able to win the World Championship in Glasgow. This year, the Japanese lost against the Indian player, Pusarla Venkata Shindu, in the quarter-final of the tournament.

- There are a lot of good Women’s Singles players at the moment. So, it is very difficult to win against this strong competition, but I think I am able to face this battle, Okuhara said.
 
The goal: Beating Carolina Marin

Another strong opponent that Okuhara had to face already two times this year, is Carolina Marin. Both played against each other in the final at the DAIHATSU YONEX Japan Open and in the semi-final at the VICTOR China Open. 

The result: Okuhara lost both matches against the defending World Champion from Spain. 

- Carolina Marin is one of the world’s best players this year, after winning the World Championships and the China Open. She is in a really good shape. But my goal is to beat her one day, at least I want to try it.

The dream: Winning the Olympics at home

Next to beating Carolina Marin, Nozomi Okuhara has another big goal: The Japanese player aims to win a gold medal at the Olympic Games in her home country in 2020. 

The chances for Okuhara of reaching this goal are not bad: She already won a bronze gold medal at the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro in 2016.  

- The Olympic Games are a very important tournament. Having them at home means a lot to me. But of course, there is a strong Japanese competition in Women’s Singles. All of us want to participate in this tournament, so there is also a lot of pressure. 

- But my goal is to win the gold medal in Tokyo. However, I know that I would enjoy participating in the Olympic Games in Tokyo very much. But it is a difficult and tough challenge.


 
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