Japanese women win berth to 2004 Athens
Japan played China in the final round of the World Women's Softball Championship in Canada on August 2. It not only beat China 5 to 0 to secure its berth to the 2004 Olympic games, its starting pitcher Yukiko Ueno hurled perfect. Softball is the first competition in which Japan has won a place in the 2004 Olympic Games. As to Japan's final standing in the competition, on Aug 4, Japan played the US in the final. Its started pitcher Juri Takayama to give her a chance to make up for the loss at the Sydney Olympic Games against the US, and finished 2nd. But Japan again lost. It's 0 to 1.
Japanese women win berth to 2000 Sydney
The World Women's Softball Championship took off in Fujinomiya-city in Shizuoka Prefecture on July 19 with 17 countries taking part. It's held in an ultra-modern stadium for softball which is said to have cost 170 million yen to build. Japan played against the U.S. in the final tournament and lost 0 to 1 on July 28. But Japan was given a chance to continue playing in the losers round. It defeated Italy 2 to 0, and secured a finish above 4th place,assuring Japan the Olympic berth. It's the first team sport that has clinched a place in the Sydney Games. Japan faced the U.S. again on July 30, but lost again, this time, 0 to 4. This defeat gave Japan 3rd place. The champion is the U.S. for the 4th straight times, followed by Australia.
Michiyo's Note: The bronze medal was satisfactory for Japan this time. although it has had challenged the World Championship 7 times. Japan was 4th at the Atlanta Olympic Games.
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