Mon, 11 Dec 2023

HANGZHOU, Oct. 2 (Xinhua) -- Spearheading Japan's scoring in the women's volleyball of the Hangzhou Asian Games, Minami Uesaka dreamed about playing for her country at an Olympic Games.

"I'm really happy to be a part of this Asian team," Uesaka, who scored 16 points to lead Japan past Kazakhstan 25-17, 25-20 and 20-13 in Monday's pool D match, told Xinhua through an interpreter. "I have been working hard to get here. So I'm really happy that everybody recognizes me and I have a chance to fight in this tournament, but my goal is to play in the Olympic Games. I want to set my goal a little bit higher, I want to try my best to be selected for the national team A in the future."

The 26-year-old spiker, who began to play volleyball in grade three at primary school, enjoys the feeling of connecting the ball with her teammates and dreams of being recognized by more people.

"I prefer team sport rather than individual sport. I like playing with the teammates," Uesaka said. "I want to be a player who can get attention from all the people from the outside."

Uesaka and her teammates are working well together at this Asian Games. Playing with their second-string squad here in Hangzhou, the Japanese team has won preliminary pool D with three wins in a row.

"I'm getting better as the games went on, and we are moving up to the place we want," said Uesaka, who is playing for a senior national team for the first time. "I want to see how well I can do against overseas teams, because I usually play against domestic teams."

Japan, China, Thailand have been considered as top medal contenders in the women's volleyball of the Hangzhou Asiad.

"To go to the final, we have to beat Thailand. That's our first goal. To win the championship, we have to beat China of course. It's very difficult, but we have to try our best," Uesaka said.

Uesaka admitted that she needed to work harder to be selected by the Japanese Team A.

"First, I need to improve my ability to score. Secondly, I need to serve better," she said. "I want to get ready to be called by the national team any time."

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