In the final of the WBC = World Baseball Classic in baseball, Japan defeated USA 3-2 to win their third title in three tournaments. Coach KURIYAMA Hideki, who led the Japan to the world title, was asked about his frank feelings at the press conference, and he replied with a calm expression, "I was happy to see the players looking really happy." On the other hand, in the press conference, he said, "My coaching position will end today," and indicated that he would step down as national team coach at the end of his tenure until the WBC.
【Click here for details】Japan Won all matches from the first round The MVP is Shohei Otani
Coach Kuriyama reflected on the scene in which Shohei Ohtani struck out Angels teammate Trout in the ninth inning to clinch the championship, saying, "I think not only Japan but also the American people thought it would be ideal for Trout to be the last moment, but after that matchup, I felt that baseball is really amazing."
He praised the pitching staff for protecting the lead, saying, "The characteristic of Japan is the pitcher, and if you can win, you are a pitcher, and that's exactly right, the players pitched excellently."
On the other hand, in the press conference, he said, "My coaching position will end today," and indicated that he would step down as national team coach at the end of his tenure until the WBC.
MVP Shohei Otani: "The best moment I've ever had"
Shohei Otani, who was named the MVP of this tournament, reflected on the moment of winning the championship, saying, "I think it was definitely the best moment I've ever had."
Commenting on his feelings ahead of the final against the United States, he said, "We have a lot of respect for American baseball, and just looking at the lineup of great players can change your gaze of respect to a bearish feeling, but today we wanted to show that we are on an equal footing and that we will definitely win."
Regarding winning the world title with coach Hideki Kuriyama, with whom he played in the professional baseball team Japan Ham, he said, "To be honest, I didn't expect to play baseball together again like this. It was a great experience."
Regarding his participation in the WBC in three years' time, he expressed his desire to participate, saying, "I want to compete, as long as I stay at a certain level, and of course I will do my best every year to make that happen," and then said, "I will do my best to become an even better fighter."
Kazuma Okamoto "We proved the strength of Japan"
Kazuma Okamoto, who hit a solo home run in the fourth inning to extend the lead, expressed his joy at the post-match press conference, saying, "I've always wanted to win the championship since the training camp in Miyazaki, so it's the best feeling Japan.
Regarding home runs, he said, "I was caught hitting a home run in the match against Mexico, so I've done a lot of weight training and eaten a lot, so I'm glad I got into the stands."
He said, "I've spent a lot of time playing baseball with this team, so I feel sad that it will end today."