Archive for the ‘Sports’ Category

AIG Open 2007

The AIG Japan Open Tennis Championships are underway in Ariake, Tokyo. Although Roger Federer isn’t back to defend his title, there are still plenty of big names taking part, including Venus Williams and Lleyton Hewitt.
Like last year, they are behind schedule because of the rain, but that should just mean that you will get more matches for your money. I’ll try to catch a few games tomorrow evening if I can.
Living just over the road from the Ariake tennis complex, this is a fun time of the year. I bumped into some pro’s shopping in our Lawson convenience store and last night a couple of them were watching our evening tennis coaching session.
Check the official website for the schedule and ticketing.

1-3 UAE-Japan in Asian Football Cup

Japan has to win tonight against UAE or it is basically over, after the disappointing draw against Quatar (New coach Ivica Osim from Bosnia was furious at his boys, calling them “amateurs” which is Eurospeak for $%&# losers). Conceding a goal last minute was sloppy…

The game tonight is great so far, both teams are eager and keen.

21 min: 0-1 Japan’s Naohira Takahara scored a beautiful first, a perfect heading goal!

26 min: 0-2 Nice pass from right field to Takahara, in perfect position, who scores again!

42 min: 0-3 Totally confusing situation when the UAE keeper trips Endo leads to penalty and Shinsuke Nakamura doesn’t miss.

66 min 1-3 Great goal after a long run from mid field – UAE had one man shown off which isn’t always a disadvantage.

PSP Golf Caddy

Add this to my Birthday List: Minna No Golf Jo is a PSP app that will tell you the distance to the pin and locations of other hazards. You will need the PSP GPS receiver as well.
Some courses have this kind of system on their Golf Carts, but people seem to get annoyed by me driving the cart onto the fairway to get the exact distance from my ball to the pin…

Futsal Boom

Futsal (5-a-side Football / Soccer) is undergoing another boom in Japan ahead of the launch of the Japan Futsal League this Autumn.
Luxury indoor courts are being constructed, such as this one in Osaki: the “VIP Court”. Last night we payed 2,300Yen each (20USD) for 2.5 hours and there were about 50 of us there (5 teams in a Mini-League Tournament).
The economics of the game suit Tokyo perfectly: lots of people crammed into a small indoor space and paying high fees. Anyway, it was a good laugh and we won, so I can’t complain.

Tokyo: Japan’s official candidate for 2016 Olympics

On Thursday, April 11, Tokyo beat Fukuoka to become Japan’s official candidate to host the 2016 Olympics.

Tokyo, which had emphasised its robust finances and international recognition, won by 33 to 22 votes from a 55-member panel of sporting federations and Japan’s Olympic Committee.

Tokyo hosted the summer Olympics in 1964, and is expected to compete against San Francisco, Chicago or Los Angeles, plus other cities possibly including Rio de Janeiro, Madrid and New Delhi.

I wonder where on Earth I will be in 2016! How about you?

New in town

This is my first entry for Metroblogging Tokyo. I first came to this city when I was 22 right during the bubble economy days, when sushi was still a novelty and the country didn’t have the J League. I cheer for Urawa Reds and try not to get too upset that there are no Swedish players here.

Many people working in Tokyo are from other areas of Japan, and they will root for their hometown teams. Games are a lot of fun with great fans, generally more lively than at the baseball games. Here is how Urawa beat Osaka 3-2 in the final 2 December, 2006.

Fortunately, hooliganism among the supporters is very rare, and there have been no cases of hooligan-related injuries or deaths at football games in Japan. Perhaps the game is still too young here, and there are no old grievances between fan clubs. I also think the press does a good job at staying serious about the game itself, rather than indulging in the mad inflammatory outbursts you often get in Europe. Oh well, lets wait a few more years and see how that story develops.

All-night Football

I’m playing 5-a-side football (Futsal – フットサル). We’ll be playing until 23:30 and it feels pretty late, but it’s nothing compared to what they have planned here next Friday evening: the ALL-NIGHTER – a 5-hour session from midnight until 5am.
I guess I shouldn’t be surprised. In the city where people routinely work 13-hour days and sleep all weekend, when else are you going to play?

Posted from my mobile phone

The Salaryman

Last month’s Tokyo Marathon didn’t feature loads of costumes, but I thought this one was pretty cool. He was wearing the full salaryman uniform: standard black suit, white shirt & even the formal black shoes – a killer to run in.

More photos from the race



Sunday is a big day for Tokyo. It’s the first big open Marathon that has been held here and is part of the build-up to 2016 Olympic bid, which will be submitted to the IOC next year.
It’s a big day for me too; my first marathon. Look out for number 22650; I’m aiming for 4h15.
There will be loads of events going on across Tokyo to mark the day. Check out the official website for more details.

Check back on Sunday for live updates from me during the run!

6-2 6-2

Tim Henman just blew World No.10 Mario Ancic off the court. He looked focused throughout & showed all his vast experience. He even wowed the crowd with one audacious flick behind his legs for a clean winner. Henman looks in great form and has a good chance to go all the way.
Being English, I’m very biased, but hopefully Tim should have no problems against Korean, Hyung-Taik Lee, in the semifinals and his likely final opponent, Federer, has looked very short of form so far in this tournament; he needed a final set tie-break to scrape past Takao Suzuki earlier today.

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