- The Japanese team (Kyodo) who fought a fierce battle against France
Japan (ranked 7th in the world) cornered France “the strongest in the world” (ranked 2nd) at ringside. The fierce battle that tangled up to the full set was narrowly defeated after three juices. Missed the top 8 for the first time in 16 years with a set count of 2-3. He even brought juice in the third set, which upset the champion who won the Tokyo Olympics and the Nations League this summer. In both teams, Yuji Nishida (22=JTEKT) scored the most points with 31 points, and Yuki Ishikawa (26=Milan) scored second with 22 points.
Ishikawa’s praying jump serve was blocked by the net. Final 5th set (S). 15-14, match point for Japan. One more point, if it was decided, it would have been a big Venus. We fought until the end, and after 3 juices, we missed the victory that was within our reach. Ishikawa and Nishida look up at the sky. Ai Takahashi held his eyes in his uniform. The difference between Tokyo Olympic gold and France is small. That’s why I felt more regret.
“I put him in the net when I was leading. It’s because of my lack of power. There’s only one step left. The players on the pitch are feeling it.”
Nations League quarter-finals on July 22. After entering Italy, Ishikawa injured his left ankle and withdrew from the tournament, losing to France in straight sets. Even though I wasn’t perfect yet, I had a strong desire to win this game. At the start of the 4th S, Sekita and Nishida had three service aces. I broke him with a serve and pinned him on the edge of the dohyo.
At the 2024 Paris Olympics. Nishida, who scored 31 points in both teams, said: “I have more upside than the top 8. I will come back stronger.” Ishikawa, who went on with 22 points, also held back tears, saying, “It depends on how much experience I have to gain (in the future).” Half a century has passed since the Munich Olympics in 1972, when Japan won gold. I could see a faint ray of hope that would make me daydream again. (Japanese original by Koichi Masuko, City News Department)
▽ Philippe Brun from Japan It’s really sad. That’s all I have to say. I brought a full set and a tie-break, and almost won the match. There was no big difference. In the future, we want to advance towards the top 8 and the championship.
▽ Ai Takahashi There was a scene where we were ahead in the last set, so there was no doubt that we were able to fight. I felt once again that it was necessary not to miss a single point. I thought (on serve) the opponent would hate it and it would be hard to defend.
Japan Starter: Setter = Masahiro Sekita, Opposed = Yuji Nishida, Outside Hitters = Ai Takahashi, Yuki Ishikawa, Middle Blockers = Futoshi Onodera, Akihiro Yamauchi, Libero = Tomohiro Yamamoto
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