In many parts of the world, social distancing is high on the agenda currently. Is this something that is happening in Japan, and if so, how is it affecting your team training plans?
Shihori Oikawa: “Yes. An overseas trip was planned earlier this year, but was cancelled. A domestic training camp was also planned in March for the Olympics, but it was dissolved today [26 March]."
What are the opportunities for Japanese hockey for 2021?
Shihori Oikawa: "Our goal has not changed, and it is the [Olympic] gold medal. We take positively that the preparation period for another year has been extended toward that goal. Each athlete also organises their own mentality and works again with new feelings."
Despite the postponement to 2021, the chance to play an Olympic Games in your own country will be a huge occasion for Japan's hockey teams. How much will it mean to you, your team-mates and your nation to be part of such an amazing sporting spectacle?
Shihori Oikawa: "Hockey is still a smaller sport in Japan. This one year is a period in which we [as a team] can improve our power. I think that having a lot of preparation time due to the influence of the coronavirus, it is our mission to promote hockey in Japan if we can achieve good results. I want to focus on the results."
Once the current health situation has been resolved, the entire world will once again be looking forward to what will surely be a fantastic Olympics in Tokyo. With that in mind, do you have a message of hope for the global hockey family at this time?
Shihori Oikawa: "I think many people may have various concerns. However, a lot of people, including the Tokyo 2020 Organising Committee, are making various preparations so that people around the world can come to Japan without worry. So please come and watch the Olympics without any concern!”
To see the IOC’s media release regarding the new dates of the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020, please . To see a statement on this subject from FIH President Dr. Narinder Dhruv Batra, .