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Great breakthrough by the Badminton Club by the gratitude and attitude to enjoy!

Eriko Tamaki
Kaede Kameda
Yoko Sekikawa

This season, the WASEDA University Badminton Club has continued to make great breakthroughs. At the 62nd All Japan Inter College Tournament at the end of October, they advanced to the finals in all categories for individuals for both men and women for the first time since the establishment of the team. At the tournament, following 2nd place in the men's singles (Akira Koga), first place in men's doubles (Akira Koga and Taichi Saito), Eriko Tamaki won the championship in the women's singles for two consecutive years, while Kaede Kameda and Yoko Sekikawa were ranked 2nd in the women's doubles category for the first time. We interviewed the three ladies about their commitment to badminton.

The Badminton Club advanced to the finals in all categories for individuals for both men and women

Serving as captain of the women's team, Eriko says she loves the atmosphere of freedom of the Badminton Club. She once wanted to quit her high school team because of the tough training, but could remember the attitude to enjoy badminton when she participated in joint training with the WASEDA University team. "As I am the type of person to do my own things, it suits me better to think on my own and practice." In an environment where self-reliance is valued, she could have cut corners as much as she could. At the bottom of her heart, however, she always had a sense of gratitude for her teammates working together, her parents and everyone who have supported her, and all she can do is her best. When she achieved the target of winning the Inter College Tournament in her 3rd year, she felt she had no regrets and was about to quit badminton. After experiencing job hunting, however, she seriously considered what she really wanted to do and felt again, "All I have is badminton." When she became a 4th year student, she decided to continue to play the sport after graduation. As a player in a non-professional team, she wants to experience business as well as find her new self.

On the other hand, Kaede has always followed Eriko as a junior player of the Badminton Club in the same junior and senior high schools. As she could learn about university life from Eriko, she also entered WASEDA. There, she met Yoko against whom she had once played, and they became a pair in doubles. Kaede and Yoko say as the chemistry as a pair strongly affects the outcome of the matches, doubles are completely different from singles. Though the two performed poorly in singles, they have been able to achieve good results. Kaede says, "I think we have good chemistry to make up for our disadvantages and improve on our advantages with each other." Yoko adds, "Our mental chemistry is good, too." After playing a match with regrets, they frankly express their feelings and thoroughly exchange ideas. They say they have been able to work together and continue to make efforts because of the strong trust of each other.

Eriko who plans to continue to play badminton as a player in a non-professional team backs up her successors, Kaede, and Yoko. "Do your best without forgetting a sense of gratitude for the people around you, and don't forget to enjoy badminton!" The two answer, "Yes!" Succeeding the spirit of Eriko, the two will surely be able to overcome high hurdles ahead with their sense of gratitude and attitude to enjoy the sport.

The pair of Yoko (right) and Kaede (left) won 2nd place in women's doubles
© WASEDA Sports press

Eriko won the tournament in the women's singles for two consecutive years
© WASEDA Sports press

The pair of Akira Saito (left) and Taichi Koga (right) won the men's doubles championship
© WASEDA Sports press


Eriko Tamaki (left)

Born in Miyagi Prefecture. Graduated from St. Ursula Eichi High School. 4th Year, School of Sport Sciences. She loves public baths and visits a bath three times a week. "Even on tour, I go to find a public bath near the hotel to sweat!"

Kaede Kameda (center)

Born in Kanagawa Prefecture. Graduated from St. Ursula Eichi High School. 3rd Year, School of Social Sciences. She is interested in reading and touring shrines and temples. "I am somehow attracted by the fine details of sculptures at Nikko Toshogu and the Big Buddha Statue in Kamakura."

Yoko Sekikawa (right)

Born in Niigata Prefecture. Graduated from Niigata Seiryo High School. 3rd Year, School of Social Sciences. Her interest is movies, and her favorite film is 'The Avengers.' "All in all, Iron Man is very interesting, so please watch the film!"