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Prince Smash became double crown at Inter College
Tournament: Friendship and unwavering commitment to badminton

Mr. Takuma Ueda

The first impression of him was a nice guy with impressive bright eyes. This guy with a gentle smile is Takuma Ueda, captain of the Badminton Team. From the way he talks that what was interesting in badminton is the speedy development of the game; it is difficult to identify him as a player with a sense of great speed to overwhelm opponents. You may think he is a mild-mannered "prince," but once in the badminton match, he attracts people with his burning heart. "In games, I become very aggressive. Last year, my goal was to win the Inter College Tournament." The gap between his eyes displaying a strong will and mild atmosphere makes him very attractive.

Prince Smash with a shining smile

At the Men's Singles at the All-Japan Students' Badminton Tournament, he won double crown in singles and doubles categories. Prince, was it an easy victory? "To be honest, I won the championship in the doubles category when I was a sophomore, but I couldn't achieve good results at the Inter College Tournament when I was a junior." He resolved to 'change!' "I spent more time training, so at the tournament before the Inter College Tournament, I played with a sense of satisfaction." He mentioned that experiencing failure developed his mental strength.

"The Waseda Badminton Team has an open atmosphere, and we can enjoy playing badminton," says Mr. Ueda cheerfully. "As we are seniors now, we think out our practice set on our own, and for this reason, we cannot cut corners! He says the Waseda Team's style of thinking and training on their own responsibility suits them.

Mr. Ueda's rival is Kei Sasaki, sub-captain of the team. The two guys have been in the same schools and teams since the first year of junior high school. "When I played against him, I rarely won and was always vexed. I beat Kei in the match for the first time when I was a freshman at senior high and was able to play in the national tournament. I was so happy." In the Inter-high school tournament when they were seniors at high school, they participated as members of the same team and won the championship in the group category. The final was an uphill battle, but they won in the singles category as well as in the doubles category where they fought as a pair, resulting in victory! "As it was the last inter-high school championship all the seniors fought together, we were so glad we won the championship. We cried a lot." (He laughs). And by chance, both of them entered Waseda University.

At the Men's Singles at the Inter College Tournament, there was an incident that made their friendship stronger. His rival, Mr. Sasaki, who participated in the tournament and has worked hard together, secretly told the team members, "Though Takuma has won the doubles, he has never won in the singles category, so let's support him as much as we can." He heard about this from a third person and became even more determined that he would win. "In the actual matches, Kei sat in the coach seat and gave me advice. I really appreciate this. If I hadn't entered Waseda, I might not have been able to get advice from Kei like this," says Mr. Ueda, a bit shyly. They are connected by their strong friendship.

"Many people have taken action and supported me. I really appreciate it. I'm so happy that I performed well at the Inter College Tournament in my senior year and play badminton at Waseda!"

In the All-Japan Badminton Tournament, he ranked third. After graduation, he will join a corporate team. Be sure to look out for Mr. Ueda in the future.

Scerious eyes so different from those at the time of the interview

Full of smiles, getting the double crown at the Inter College Tournament

Mr. Ueda and his funny friends. Mr. Ueda is second from left. Mr. Kei Sasaki is second from right

(Offered by WASEDA WEEKLY)

Mr. Takuma Ueda

Born in Tokyo in 1989. 4th year student at the School of Sport Sciences. Graduated from Saitama Sakae Junior and Senior High Schools. Captain of the Waseda Badminton Team. Third place in the doubles category at the 10th International Students' Badminton Tournament. Has achieved outstanding results, including second place in the group category and first places in the men's singles and double categories at the 61st All Japan Students' Badminton Tournament. His favorite food is curry and high-end American ice cream. Reads Weekly Shonen Jump comic magazine every week. Especially loves One Piece. The book he has read most recently is "Osama Game," a horror novel. "I was reading it during our tour in Korea, but I got so scared I couldn't sleep. So I read it in the morning." His target is to buy an iPhone. "Applications? I don't know what they are," he laughs.