Mr. Masaharu Okawara

I want to give back to friends around the world who taught me about diversity

Would you tell us a bit about your experience in the past WMG ?

My first impression was regarding physique. If these were Asian Games, there would be no big difference, but Western players are different. How do you challenge opponents with such strong physical power even in the same age? They gave me a chance to advance to the next level.
During the WMG Auckland tournament, which I participated in for the first time in 2017, I was able to play against former champions and other powerful players. Unfortunately, in singles, I was defeated in the 3rd place decisive match and finished in 4th place.
With my Open class 35+ doubles partner Tanikawa Toshiaki at WMG Auckland 2017 (left)
With my wife came to support me at WMG Auckland 2017 (right)
With my Open class 35+ doubles partner Tanikawa Toshiaki at WMG Auckland 2017 (left)
With my wife came to support me at WMG Auckland 2017 (right)

What did you discover playing the game with overseas players?

here are many “good” Japanese players, but “strong” players will be the ones who are able to perform in international competitions. Japanese badminton is a battle that emphasizes beautiful form. Although these tactics are not wrong, there are moments that are unrivaled by players of their own style that pursued their strengths.
The correct answer in Japan is not necessarily the correct answer in other places in the world. Knowing that will break the practice and common-sense concepts that have been accumulated. That discovery is a very good motivator.

You seem to be working on expanding your exchanges with overseas players.

Thanks to the ability to speak Chinese, my acquaintances are increasing in China, Malaysia, and Singapore. And especially in Taiwan, I won’t forget the many people who helped take care of clothing, food, and shelter during my stay while participating in the tournament.

So when comrades from around the world come to Japan for a trip, I tell them “Please bring your shoes only.” I’m happy to be busy preparing rackets, clothing, and practice courts at different spots in Japan, bringing teams and friends together, and serving as a bridge for exchange games.

WMG2021 Kansai will also be a place to give back to friends all over the world. I am very happy to have the opportunity to say 'We have an international tournament in Japan.”

What are your future activity goals?

They will continue to evolve over the course of my lifetime. To that end, stimulation that is the source of evolution is important, and WMG is one such stimulus. There is also the aspect of leadership. By studying and practicing what is necessary as a leader, I hope to keep on being captivating and persuasive.
Players who think technique or power are the number one factors remain limited. However, if any player continues to evolve and grow, the day when the growth curve overlaps with that player will come.

I'm sure I can be the “only one,” if I keep on trying to become the only one by maintaining my physical strength with technical training and tactical discipline. I believe that and will continue to enjoy badminton.