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号外埼玉知事選、大野氏初当選 与党系候補破る

7月27日号 空手・植草歩選手インタビュー 五輪は「運命」

音声を聞いてみよう

WORDS 単語をチェック

split-second
瞬間的な
middle-level punch
(ここでは)中段突き
division
(ここでは)階級
divulge
明かす(後出 confide は打ち明ける)
win
優勝する、勝ち取る(後出 victory は優勝)
Japan ... Championships
全日本空手道選手権大会(後出 World Senior Championships は世界空手道選手権大会)
candidate
候補
inclusion
追加競技のこと
Olympic Games
オリンピック(後出 games もここでは同意)
prod
促す
give back
恩返しする
compete
競う
pursue
追う
merely ~
単に~
cue
きっかけ
fade
薄れる
become confident
自信を持つ
source
honor
栄誉
 

Positive Power   

Using her split-second middle-level punches as a powerful weapon, karate champion Uekusa Ayumi has made herself well known on the world stage. She holds the world No. 1 ranking in the women's over-68 kilogram class — the heaviest weight division in karate.

Uekusa, 27, began learning karate in her third year of elementary school, and later was a university champion. But she divulges, "I was a negative thinker. I was scared to lose." When she was in university, she failed to achieve her goal of winning the Japan Cup Karatedo Championships. "I was going to give up karate after I graduated," she confides.

Around that time, however, the sport of karate became a candidate for inclusion in the 2020 Olympic Games. Her trainer prodded her on, asking, "Why don't you give back to karate what you've gotten from it?" Uekusa decided to keep competing with the goal of participating in the games. She declared that she would pursue victory on the "dream stage," which brought her more public attention. This was merely what she had been told to say, but it became the cue for her to change. By entering the public spotlight and focusing on achieving the dream she had told people about, her negative thinking naturally started to fade. "If your words change, your actions will change," she says.

In 2015, Uekusa won her first Japan Cup Karatedo Championships. She became confident that she could turn the new attention into a source of power, and went on to win the 23rd World Senior Championships in 2016.

Uekusa's birthday is on July 25, the day the Barcelona Summer Olympic Games opened in 1992, and the day the Tokyo Olympic Games will begin in 2020. For Uekusa, the Olympics are her "destiny."

"I want to win a gold medal at the Olympics held in Japan and bring even more excitement to karate," commented Uekusa, setting her sights on achieving the honor in the country where karate was born. (Story by Yoshinaga Yasuo, related story on page 16)

[本文 - 336 words]

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