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Japanese women headed home -- in business class
by Paul Kennedy, August 10th, 2012 9:50PM

TAGS:  japan, olympics


[OLYMPIC SPOTLIGHT] Japan's women's national team won't return home with gold, but they will return home in business class. New Japan Football Association president Kuniya Daini confirmed the women -- relegated to economy class while the Japanese men's national team flew in business class en route from Tokyo to Paris -- would be upgraded to business class on their return flight.

"They won a medal, so they will go back business class," said Daini. "We have got the seats booked."

Interest was high in the rematch of the 2011 Women's World Cup final between the USA and Japan. Fans packed Tokyo bars until 6 a.m. to watch the Wembley gold-medal game won by the Americans, 2-1.

Japan had numerous opportunities after it fell behind, first 1-0, then 2-0.

Early Friday editions of Japanese newspapers praised the play of Japan: "Stand tall, silver medalists!" (Nikkan Sports) and "Fierce Fight" (Sankei Sports).

"The gold medal ended up just out of reach," said Japan star Homare Sawa, "but it was great to be playing with fantastic teammates on the biggest stage of all against great opponents."

Sawa and captain Aya Miyama have get back to Japan.

They will be ambassadors at the Under-20 Women's World Cup that begins Aug. 19 in Japan.

"Hopefully," added Sawa, "the under-20s can take a bit inspiration, however small, from what we have done and try and win world and Olympic titles in the future."

  1. EDS SB
    commented on: August 11, 2012 at 8:32 a.m.
    Excuse me? The women "won a metal so they can go back in first class" ?? They were WC champions in coach going over while the men road first class as nothings. Will the men return 1st class as nothings with Japan's Olympic silver medallists? The Japanese women's national team is the only thing about Japan that IS first class as far as I can tell. That country needs to dump the geisha thing and wake up fast. They are embarrassing themselves.
  1. Wayne Root
    commented on: August 11, 2012 at 4:14 p.m.
    Elaine, you're right. The Japanese women should come back first class while the Japanese men's team is sent back on a slow freighter.
  1. Bruce Moorhead
    commented on: August 12, 2012 at 1:49 a.m.
    Wake up Elaine and others! The full Japan national team reached the 2nd round in 2010 and will be a strong force in Brazil. Their Olympic men reached the semis. Yes the Japan women have had great success, but to say the Japan men are weak in soccer is absurd! The results say otherwise. Look for Japan to reach the semis in 2014.

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