Ayaka Takahashi (高橋 礼華)

Discussion in 'Japan Professional Players' started by badmintonpog1, Aug 19, 2020.

  1. badmintonpog1

    badmintonpog1 Regular Member

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    Ayaka Takahashi. Former Rank 1 Japan WD player with Misaki Matsutomo. One of her greatest wins was the Rio Olympics in 2016 where she won GOLD!

    Unfortunately, she has recently announced her retirement today. On the BWF News they stated when Takahashi was in a press conference interview with her employer Nihon Unisys, she said:

    “After the announcement of the postponement of Tokyo 2020, I thought I could not keep my motivation high enough to go through another tough year. I thought about continuing to play till the end of the Olympic qualification period as well, but I followed my will and decided to finally end my badminton career.”

    She also talked about her thoughts on her retirement when competing in the AE (All England):

    “I have no regrets about this decision. In the quarterfinals of the All England, we were to meet the world No. 1 Chinese pair (Chen/Jia). I thought it could be the last match for me as we were not sure at that time whether the Olympic qualifying race would continue. That is why I wanted to play my very best against the strong Chinese, and we managed to beat them. I am proud of my achievements and satisfied with the good results.”

    I hope she has a happy retirement!!

    BWF News on Ayaka Takahashi retirement: https://olympics.bwfbadminton.com/news-single/2020/08/19/ayaka-takahashi-calls-it-a-day/

    P.S: I was surprised I couldn't find a thread about her. Only Misaki Matsutomo. Misaki Matsutomo will still play with her mixed doubles partner, Yuki Kaneko. Maybe Matsutomo might be paired with a new WD partner in the future?
     
    #1 badmintonpog1, Aug 19, 2020
    Last edited: Aug 19, 2020
  2. Bieffe

    Bieffe Regular Member

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    Matsumoto will need to get some head wind with new partnership in XD to be in contention for 1st time. Even with Takahashi in WD their performance has been lack luster. Very quickly fallen behind their junior members.
    So due to this factor....i very doubtful Matsumoto will be field in WD with a new partner unless due to injury of other members.
    In short the Jap team also peaked too early ahead of the Olympics. What is to be the badminton Olympics dream team....is likely gonna be a dream only.

    Sent from my SM-G975F using Tapatalk
     
  3. terrynguyen121988

    terrynguyen121988 Regular Member

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    Find another Watanabe to combine with Matsutomo, and we will have a new XD pair in top ten
     
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  4. CLELY

    CLELY Regular Member

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    A wise decision as she has no passion anymore to continue her Olympic campaign and compete with her two higher-ranked and younger teammates, FukuHiro & MatsuNaga.

    I guess Matsutomo will concentrate to XD only, Japan has two formidable WD pairs plus another two promising combinations.

    upload_2020-8-21_9-24-49.png
     
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  5. kurako

    kurako Regular Member

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    A tribute, uploaded on August 19, by up-market cosmetics-maker, SKII, to the bond that existed between Takahashi and Matsutomo. TakaMatsu were chosen by SK-II as sports personalities in the run-up to the Olympics. The 5-minute movie is both pointed, and touching.

     
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  6. trizzforce

    trizzforce Regular Member

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    Hi Kurako. Nice to see you on the forums again. Could you please kindly provide the gist of what's being said in the video? I understood nothing but still liked it cos I'm personally a fan of Matsutomo. Thanks!
     
  7. kurako

    kurako Regular Member

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    Yep, ... but I am still keeping away from the "temporary" Momota thread. :(

    The gist of the story is that, as a successful WD pair, TakaMatsu were being roboticised;...programmed to follow the 'regimen', perfect their game, live for 'competition', believe that winning is everything, ... and suppress their emotions. They are told to become machines. The voice in the video repetitively commands them to not to deviate from the program.

    "Aim for No. 1." "Stay at the top." "Take control." "Discard fear."
    "Watch what you eat." "Control your calories."
    "Sacrifice whatever you need to to win."
    "Go to bed." "Prepare for tomorrow."

    Half-way through, however, robot Takahashi starts to dysfunction. A distant memory springs to life. Whilst still an elementary school pupil, she received a letter from an opponent who she beat in a singles match. The letter read, "Takahashi-san, although I lost, the match we played was fun. You were so strong. I hope we can play together again." It was signed by Matsutomo Misaki.

    (Takahashi's mind) "Although I lost, the match we played was fun." ...
    Voice: "Return to the system." Don't deviate from the program."
    "Although I lost, the match we played was fun." ...
    Voice: "Program error." "There is a program error with Takahashi."
    "Although I lost, the match we played was fun." ...
    Voice: "Discard your emotions."
    "I hope we can play together again."...

    Takahashi shows Matsutomo the letter.

    Voice: "Emotions interfere with your training." Winning is everything." Don't deviate from the path of success."
    (Takahashi's mind) "It was fun."
    Voice: "It is only through winning that there is any meaning." "Winning is everything." Sacrifice whatever you need to win."

    It is at this point that both Takahashi and Matsutomo clutch their robot heads, and Takahashi cries out "Stop!" to the voice. "We are not machines." TakaMatsu shed their robotic form, and Matsutomo utters, "Senpai, I just remembered. We were strongest when we simply enjoyed playing together."

    Voice: "Strive for perfection." "Do not deviate from the program." "Winning is everything." "Recovery mode launched." "Do not leave." "Failure is unacceptable." "Emotional bonds breed weakness." "Believe me." "Do not deviate from the program."

    ----------

    Takahashi's final and winning smash is followed by white text that reads, "One can't always be perfect."
    They hug. "And neither can one always be number one." "But humanity makes us special."

    SKII closes the movie with,
    ”In a period spanning more than a decade, they have brought us much excitement.
    And therein lies the beauty of a bond that exceeds competition.
    Thank you, TakaMatsu."

    --------------

    Watch the movie again. Hopefully it will make more sense. The letter written by Matsutomo is a real-life episode, by the way. :):)
     
    #7 kurako, Aug 23, 2020
    Last edited: Aug 24, 2020
  8. trizzforce

    trizzforce Regular Member

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    Thank you for the elaborate explanation. I really appreciate it and it makes sense now!
     
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  9. Cheung

    Cheung Moderator

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    A new addition

     
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  10. decrepit

    decrepit Regular Member

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    Happy birthday to my beloved JPN badminton player! :oops: Wish you all the best.
     

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