[Interview] Erika Kasahara (Japan, female -49kg)
|?? Erika Kasahara.|
Japan’s highest ranked Erika Kasahara had her opportunity to fight for a place in the London Olympic Games. On the third competition day Kasahara – silver medalist at the 2010 Asian Games – met World Champion Wu Jingyu in the female -49kg quarterfinals.
Contrary to everyone’s expectations, the first round of the match was led by Kasahara, who opened the scoring with 2 points. After Wu earned 1 point in her favor, Kasahara even tried a head kick, which would have given her 1 point of advantage. However, even after a video replay demanded by her coach, she failed in obtaining the three points.
After the first round Wu Jingyu started to show her best talent. Was Wu a too difficult goal for Kasahara? The scoreboard ended 6-9 and the Japanese did not make it to the semifinals.
Kasahara burst into tears immediately after the match; it was the third time she fought against Wu without being able to beat her. She admitted she is still behind Wu, but dusting herself off, added that she would keep fighting to beat her some day.
For the Japanese athlete there is one last chance left to make it to London: the Asian Qualification Tournament. If she succeeds in the continental qualifier she will be able to show Wu a stronger Kasahara.
Despite not having great Olympics results, Japan has clearly showed in this Qualification Tournament that its athletes are close to the Olympic level.
<World Taekwon Media>