Eri Yamada, who contributed to winning the gold medals at the Beijing and Tokyo Olympic Games as the captain of the Japanese national softball team, will retire at the end of this season, looking back on her competitive life, saying, "Softball was life itself." .
Yamada is 38 years old from Kanagawa prefecture.
He is a left-throwing left-handed outfielder with a perfect combination of running, offense and defense, and has been called the "Ichiro" of the softball world, being selected as the top hitter five times and the best nine in the league 14 times. .
As captain of the Japanese national team at the Beijing and Tokyo Olympics, he contributed to winning the gold medal, and at the Beijing Games he led the team by hitting a home run in the final match against the United States.
On the 2nd, her retirement interview was held in Urayasu City, Chiba Prefecture, and she was given a surprise bouquet from pitcher Yukiko Ueno, who was a senior in the first year of the Japanese national team, and hugged her, showing tears.
At the press conference, Yamada said, "Thanks to Mr. Ueno, I have been able to continue this far and have grown as a person and as a player. Being able to spend time in the same era is my greatest memory and treasure." I made it
Regarding the reason why he decided to retire, he said, ``Preparing for results has become painful both physically and emotionally, and I have come to think that it is difficult to leave outstanding results.'' I was able to do it without it. Softball was life itself.”
Looking back on the Tokyo Olympics, where softball was held for the first time in 13 years, he said, "There was a period of about two years when I had no goals and was burned out, but I realized that I was supported by many people and thought that I could give back. I was under a lot of pressure to host the event in my own country, but I was able to win the gold medal thanks to the support of many people."
Softball will not be included in the competition at the Paris Olympics two years from now, but Yamada said to his juniors, "Continuing to play with a sense of gratitude is the key to the revival of softball at the Olympics. I think it will lead to excitement, so please don't forget to do it."