Naomi Osaka will represent Japan — not U.S. — at 2020 Tokyo Olympics


(CBS Sports)–The No. 3 ranked women’s tennis player in the world, Naomi Osaka, has chosen to represent Japan in the 2020 Tokyo summer Olympics.

Under Japanese law, persons with dual citizenship are required to choose only one country to be a citizen of by their 22nd birthday. With that birthday coming up on Oct. 16, the now American and Japanese citizen has chosen Japan. Osaka was born in Japan and raised in the United States. 

Osaka has represented Japan as her home country on the WTA tour since turning pro in 2013 

According to CNN, she spoke with Japanese broadcaster NHK about how it feels to be competing for the country. She says it is “a special feeling to try to go to the Olympics to represent Japan.”

The 21-year-old also feels that competing for Japan will create a different feeling. “I think I will be able to put more of my emotion into it by playing for the pride of the country,” she said. 

Osaka currently lives and trains in the United States.

She had a disappointing end to the US Open, getting eliminated in the Round of 16, but redeemed herself in the final of the China Open in the beginning of October, beating world No.1 Ashleigh Barty.

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