Nozomi Okuhara ( 奥原希望 )

Discussion in 'Japan Professional Players' started by chris-ccc, Sep 27, 2011.

  1. samkool

    samkool Regular Member

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    she is showing (the sport of) badminton a glimpse of what it should be: an individual sport where the athletes are able to determine their own future.

    she has earned her position by being a perpetual threat in every tournament and found a sponsor that believes in her. now i want her to win gold as a slap in the face to bwf's dictatorial rules.

    this also shows the nba is of high character. i believe they understand that okuhara's potential success is also good for national pride, without having to 'own' the athlete.

    regarding how pjb is feeling about it: i doubt he's taking it personally. the japanese system is not china/malaysia/indonesia/korea wherein the federation owns the athletes. corporations do and they share them with the nba, so success is a common goal. an egotistical administrator/politician/head coach has no power in this setup.
    too desperate? hardly. this is obviously her last and best chance. she is absolutely doing the right thing.

    okuhara winning gold would mean so much more for the future of badminton and its athletes.
     
    #361 samkool, Dec 28, 2018
    Last edited: Dec 28, 2018
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  2. kurako

    kurako Regular Member

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    Good to see that you are so confident. In her press announcement, she seemed edgy, and her body language was negative. As @ant01 said, she seems to be putting a lot of pressure on herself.

    That apart, Taiyo Holdings, does not seem to have too much experience as a sports, let alone badminton sponsor, and I am not sure whether she can replicate the training environment that Unisys provided. Why do you think that she "is absolutely doing the right thing"? And why is this a better choice for her than staying with Unisys? Putting aside the issue that players should be more independent, do you honestly think that her chances of getting a gold medal have increased by taking this step?

    This year is going to be interesting in that it will demonstrate to other players the feasibility of going "pro" at a relatively young age. For that, it is valuable in itself. At the same time, it could possibly spell the end of Okuhara. As I said, it is a gamble; there is nothing at this point of time that suggests it is "obviously her best chance".
     
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  3. SolsticeOfLight

    SolsticeOfLight Regular Member

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    After the Olympics we will be calling this either inspired or the cause of her downfall.
    There’s no way to call it now, though I personally don’t feel very optimistic.
     
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  4. Master

    Master Regular Member

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    I think Okuhara could still have sparring partner with Yamaguchi or any JPN WS in Ajinomoto NTC for regular basis when the national team have training camp there. Or is she completely out from the national team to become full independent player? It's not so clear in my perspective right now. So far, which I know that she's leaving her club, not the national team.

    And as a top players, sparring partner isn't her top problem since she has achieved mostly of her talent development.

    Okuhara just need to polish her playing with some special training and conditioning to be inline with her purpose to gain the peak form at the time of Olympics and to prevent any overload activity.

    Okuhara still have more than enough tournament to maintain her competitive playing level as far as she has no injury.

    NBA have just owned a little amount of athletes' prize money :D

    Her risky decision surely will be paid off later, whether it's big positive or largely negative. I personally think that she need to do it now, or it's too late to grab this so "rare" chance to play Olympics in her home.
     
    #364 Master, Dec 28, 2018
    Last edited: Dec 28, 2018
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  5. samkool

    samkool Regular Member

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    because it has been her choice to take this route.
    yes...
    ...because she already knows the unisys path and what they expect from her in terms of time and tournaments. if she doesn't feel unisys affords her the best opportunity to win gold, well then, who would know better than her? she's not a rookie with delusions and no experience.

    how many people out there would rather take a little more risk and be self-employed rather than have to work for someone? freedom and greater satisfaction vs. rules and obligations are the trade-off.
     
  6. Desireless

    Desireless Regular Member

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    Sorry to say, but I think there's more at stake for her than "working for someone vs. self employment". Full-time positions (and the accompanying implied long-term employment) aren't that easy to come by in Japan anymore...especially at prestigious companies like Unisys. To cast all that aside, seems more like "going all in" for a bet on the Tokyo Olympics. If she wins, of course she'll be set for life. But if she fails to gold medal, then she will be left past her prime age (in terms of Olympic cycle) and with no permanent full-time employment. Keep in mind...unlike TTY, NO's game style is almost completely built around physical condition and outlasting opponents. Once she's past her prime, her competitive advantage decreases substantially. I consider this a very high risk manoeuvre which may very well cause her to break under the do-or-die pressure.
     
  7. visor

    visor Regular Member

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    If she's getting a healthy stipend from the company sponsoring her, then it's also the company who is taking the risk and betting on her. Because she may or may not get the gold.

    Sent from my SM-G965W using Tapatalk
     
    #367 visor, Dec 29, 2018
    Last edited: Dec 29, 2018
  8. samkool

    samkool Regular Member

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    true. however, for any corporation that takes its badminton team seriously having a recent world champion and olympic bronze medalist anywhere on your staff would be a source of pride. her badminton cv and drive to be the best is not going to hurt future employment opportunities.

    maybe unisys is granting her a sabbatical to pursue the ultimate prize. it would not surprise me. large corporations around the world have been known to do this.
     
  9. kurako

    kurako Regular Member

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    I doubt it. Otherwise, it wouldn't have been such a tearful All Japan Championships final, or tearful press announcement. I don't think that Japanese corporate teams would want to establish a precedent where players can just take sabbaticals at will. It's good-bye, ... unless she returns as a coach, that is.
     
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  10. Desireless

    Desireless Regular Member

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    Do you have any link to that AJC final game between NO and AY? Or the post match?
     
  11. Desireless

    Desireless Regular Member

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    Actually nvm, here it is. She looked devastated:



    And that is one big-ass trophy...not sure NO could have held it up if she won...
     
    #371 Desireless, Dec 31, 2018
    Last edited: Dec 31, 2018
  12. kurako

    kurako Regular Member

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    I had an arena seat there. It really was quite a show!
     
  13. Cunning Linguist

    Cunning Linguist Regular Member

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    Full match:
     
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  14. lurker

    lurker Regular Member

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  15. ungangela

    ungangela New Member

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    Heyo! Can someone please tell me what "turning pro" in badminton means please, thank you. I understand what Nozomi plans are but i dont really get the turning pro in badminton. thank you
     
  16. kurako

    kurako Regular Member

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    There are probably quite a few interpretations of this concept, and it really depends on the sports culture of the player's country, but in Okuhara's case, let's just say that, as of January 1, 2019, she is no longer a salaried worker of Nihon Unisys. She resigned from the corporate team, and is now sponsored by Taiyo Holdings.

    All of the other Japanese national team members remain affiliated to corporate teams. They receive salaries and, depending on company policy, even spend some of their working hours performing office duties. Also, once they retire from competitive sport, they are usually offered regular employment at their company.

    Okuhara decided to go pro because she felt that her commitments at Nihon Unisys may possibly impede her chances of getting a gold at Tokyo. She is injury-prone, and thought that continuing to participate in the S/J League, etc, for her corporate team, would risk further injury.

    It will be interesting to see how she fares at the German Open and, more importantly, at the All England.
     
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  17. ungangela

    ungangela New Member

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    Thank you for the info! Yes, it will be interesting indeed.
     
  18. ungangela

    ungangela New Member

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    Just out of curiosity, who do you think is a better player between Okuhara and Yamaguchi?
     
  19. minions

    minions Regular Member

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    It is very hard to tell. They are pretty much equal.
     
  20. LenaicM

    LenaicM Regular Member

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    While I strongly believe she did the right thing I’m also eager to see how will she performs for next weeks’ tournaments.

    As much as I’m slightly aware of the Japanese culture thanks to my wife’s family living there or my own interest for Japan generally, I’d like to know how the Japanese society generally feels towards NO’s choice to go pro. I think it is perceived as a bold move in Japan right? It is a bit of an unconventional choice from her.
     

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