Sports correspondent, Tokyo
Alastair's Feed
Nov 30, 2012

Sumo – Japan’s ancient sport threatened in ‘age of convenience’

TOKYO (Reuters) – Aspiring sumo wrestler Mainoumi once convinced doctors to inject silicone into his scalp to meet height requirements for the ancient Japanese sport. Such sacrifice is a rarity now in a sport beset by scandals and with popularity at an all-time low.

With a history spanning centuries, sumo once graced the Imperial courts of Japan and wrestlers were held in the highest regard. Sponsors lavished gifts on the hulking giants and to join the ranks of the sumo was considered a worthy occupation.

Oct 31, 2012

Williams surgery puts Japan future in doubt

TOKYO (Reuters) – Boxing All Black Sonny Bill Williams had surgery on a pectoral injury on Wednesday, which looks likely to delay his return to Japanese rugby and force the postponement of his next fight.

His Panasonic Wild Knights club told Reuters they were discussing a rehabilitation schedule for the 27-year-old but were not sure when he would return to Japan from Australia.

Oct 31, 2012

Rugby-Williams surgery puts Japan future in doubt

TOKYO, Oct 31 (Reuters) – Boxing All Black Sonny Bill Williams had surgery on a pectoral injury on Wednesday, which looks likely to delay his return to Japanese rugby and force the postponement of his next fight.

His Panasonic Wild Knights club told Reuters they were discussing a rehabilitation schedule for the 27-year-old but were not sure when he would return to Japan from Australia.

Oct 22, 2012

Spanish king set video for Ryder drama: Garcia

TOKYO (Reuters) – The King of Spain had his video recorder set up so as not to miss the last day of Europe’s epic Ryder Cup tussle with the United States, Sergio Garcia told Reuters on Monday.

The 32-year-old Garcia said he has found himself glued to the screen, just like friends not remotely interested in golf, to watch re-runs of Europe’s stunning triumph in Chicago last month.

Oct 22, 2012

Golf-Spanish king set video for Ryder drama – Garcia

TOKYO, Oct 22 (Reuters) – The King of Spain had his video recorder set up so as not to miss the last day of Europe’s epic Ryder Cup tussle with the United States, Sergio Garcia told Reuters on Monday.

The 32-year-old Garcia said he has found himself glued to the screen, just like friends not remotely interested in golf, to watch re-runs of Europe’s stunning triumph in Chicago last month.

Oct 16, 2012

Japan angered by French TV host’s nuclear joke

TOKYO (Reuters) – Japan has reacted angrily to a French television host who showed a composite picture of national team goalkeeper Eiji Kawashima with four arms and made a joke about the “Fukushima effect”.

Praising Kawashima’s performance in Japan’s surprise 1-0 victory over France in a football friendly in Paris last Friday, Laurent Ruquier’s wisecrack drew laughter and applause in the studio.

Oct 16, 2012

Soccer: Japan angered by French TV host’s nuclear joke

TOKYO (Reuters) – Japan has reacted angrily to a French television host who showed a composite picture of national team goalkeeper Eiji Kawashima with four arms and made a joke about the “Fukushima effect”.

Praising Kawashima’s performance in Japan’s surprise 1-0 victory over France in a soccer friendly in Paris last Friday, Laurent Ruquier’s wisecrack drew laughter and applause in the studio.

Oct 14, 2012

Watson ends Britain’s WTA title wait in Osaka

TOKYO (Reuters) – Heather Watson became the first Briton to win a WTA singles title in 24 years after she fought back from match point down to beat Taiwan’s Chang Kai-chen 7-5 5-7 7-6 in the final of the Japan Open on Sunday.

The British number two succeeded where Laura Robson had failed in Guangzhou last month to become the country’s first winner on the women’s tour since Sara Gomer in 1988.

Oct 14, 2012

Tennis-Watson ends Britain’s WTA title wait in Osaka

TOKYO, Oct 14 (Reuters) – Heather Watson became the first Briton to win a WTA singles title in 24 years after she fought back from match point down to beat Taiwan’s Chang Kai-chen 7-5 5-7 7-6 in the final of the Japan Open on Sunday.

The British number two succeeded where Laura Robson had failed in Guangzhou last month to become the country’s first winner on the women’s tour since Sara Gomer in 1988.

Oct 10, 2012

Bolt still flirting with more events

TOKYO (Reuters) – World’s fastest man Usain Bolt is still toying with the notion of adding the 400 metres or long jump to his repertoire after retaining his 100 and 200 Olympic titles.

The 26-year-old, who also helped defend Jamaica’s 4×100 relay crown in London, said on Wednesday he could opt to branch out at the 2016 Olympic in Rio de Janeiro.