sports

Japanese baseball player shows us the craziest batting warmup we’ve ever seen 【Video】

In Japanese high schools, it’s customary for the band to accompany the baseball team to important games. Saitama’s Namegawa Sogo High even mixes in some modern musical stylings, as Queen’s “We Will Rock You” showed up on their set list for a recent contest in the prefectural championship tournament.

Of course, such a bombastic tune coming from the stands requires equal flamboyance from the players, and one student athlete responded with the craziest batter’s box warmup we’ve ever seen.

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Sayonara, stadium! Tokyo tosses out design for 252 billion-yen Olympic site, starts from scratch

I’ve got nothing but love for Tokyo, and I’ve spent a good chunk of my adult life working and playing in Japan’s city of cities. Still, I remember having mixed emotions when it was announced as the site of the 2020 Olympics.

Like everyone at RocketNews24, I truly believe Japan is an awesome place, and I’m happy whenever something happens that gets people to take a peek at what’s going on here. But I was worried that in the run-up to the 2020 Olympics, Japan would embark on a glut of overly extravagant construction projects, building needlessly expensive stadiums that would fall into disuse or disrepair soon after the Games ended, as has happened in so many other host cities.

That certainly seemed to be what was happening with Tokyo’s New National Stadium. Every few months came a new report that cost estimates had been revised up yet again, and the expected price tag recently soared to 252 billion yen (US$2.02 billion). Finally, though, the Tokyo Olympics organizers have said enough is enough, and they’ve decided to toss out the existing design completely and start over from scratch.

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Soccer star Ronaldo is at it again, now starring in ad for weird Japanese ab device 【Video】

There are a lot of things about Cristiano Ronaldo that we know to be true. He is objectively a very attractive man. He is objectively a fantastic soccer player. He objectively very rich. He is – and we say this without irony – “big in Japan.” He is objectively in great shape.

He will also, objectively, endorse near any damn thing. Like this weird ab device.

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Women’s World Cup celebration at Shibuya crossing is a completely different beast from 2011

Four years ago, the U.S. and Japanese teams met in the Women’s World Cup final in Germany, with Nadeshiko Japan emerging victorious in an uplifting and feel-good story after the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake. This year’s rematch of the two teams was a totally different result as the Americans gave the Japanese a real shellacking with a final score of 5-2. Japanese fans didn’t have much to cheer about as they found their team down 4-0 after about the 16 minute mark.

While thousands of soccer fans celebrated the championship in Shibuya’s famed scramble crosswalk four years ago, what sort of celebration would be found after the U.S. victory? There are definitely enough Americans in the Tokyo area to celebrate their win so join us after the jump to witness the “madness” in Shibuya.

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Hilarious diving fail or solidarity between teammates?【Video】

As an amateur athlete there is nothing more worthwhile and thrilling than representing your country at a major competition. However, there is also nothing more heart-wrenching than failing on such a big stage. For this pair of Filipino divers, they might have scored 0.0 on their dives, but they scored a perfect 10 in Internet comedy. Their performance has unfortunately brought up the question of whether or not these horrendous attempts were intentional.

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Japan Basketball Association considering prohibiting zone defense to minors

As much as I sometimes wish I were young again, there’s no denying the fact that youth has its drawbacks. For example, just think of all the things someone under the age of 15 can’t do in Japan: they can’t enjoy a glass of elephant poop beer, vote for some naked, sword wielding guy standing in municipal elections, go to an Edo period erotic art show, or buy a carton of Marlboro and exquisite steak curry at the same place.

And if the muckety mucks in the Japan Basketball Association have their way, anyone under 15 may soon be prohibited from playing zone defense. However, the JBA would like to remind youths that it’s for their own good, and hurts the association more than it does them.

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Two Japanese baseball mascots meet in the outfield for a kick to the face and shot to the head

Japanese sports in general place an emphasis on discipline, sportsmanship, and respect for the game. Even though baseball was imported in fairly modern times from America, these traditional values are still in full play, as showboating and taunting on the diamond are frowned upon as much as they are in the sumo ring.

Normally, these high standards of conduct extend to everyone in the ball park, players, fans, and stadium employees included. One recent game, though, saw an odd bit of violence between opposing mascots, including a boot to the face and baseball remix of a gangland-style execution.

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Robot sumo wrestlers fire laser blasts in crazy, free-to-play horse racing browser game

Aside from having particularly large members of the animal kingdom as their stars, sumo wrestling and horse racing don’t have a whole lot in common. But the sport of kings and the sport of heavy, scantily clad men are teaming up in a cross-promotion that’s bizarre even by the standards of Japanese marketing, with Japan Sumo Derby, a free-to-play browser game filled with sumo wrestlers riding famous Japanese race horses.

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We brave fastballs from the world’s fastest (and most terrifying) pitching machine

If there were ever going to be some kind of cheesy, baseball-themed horror movie, we’re almost certain the mechanical antagonist would be this Shizuoka Prefecture pitching machine – the world’s fastest at a pitching speed of 230 km/h (143 mph) – which would probably be depicted firing a fastball directly through the torso of some cocky coed.

Record-setting and somewhat terrifying? You bet we had to go and take a shot at hitting one of those blazingly fast pitches. Well, like, not us. We’re too young and handsome to die. We sent one of our Japanese-language writers, instead.

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The Fukushima badminton beauty causing a racket

Aya Ohori is an 18-year-old badminton player hailing from Aizuwakamatsu City, Fukushima Prefecture who’s recently come into the spotlight, not for her athletic prowess but rather her beauty and flawless skin.

You would think that it would be a crime for athletes to be both physically talented as well as beautiful. We’re really not sure what all the fuss is about, but her appearance on a sports documentary has created quite the fan base and certainly got the media aflutter.

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Boxers in the Philippines fight blindfolded, show us why they shouldn’t 【Video】

One of the best scenes in any martial arts movie is when a skilled fighter shows off just how powerful he is by fighting blindfolded. After all, a true master of hand-to-hand combat should be able to utilize his other senses to defeat his opponent.

But if one blindfolded pugilist is cool, two blindfolded combatants going against each other must be even more awesome, right? Not always, but it does make for plenty of physical comedy, as this video of blindfolded boxing shows.

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Japanese Fitness expert recommends toddlers play catch, climb on jungle gym, sumo wrestle

Remember when you were a little kid, and your parents would take you to the park to play? Not only were you having fun, you were developing important motor skills as you ran around, did somersaults, and swung on the monkey bars. Maybe when you got a little older and more coordinated, you’d even play catch with your mom and dad.

But did your parents love you enough to have a couple of sumo bouts against you?

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Big dudes CAN jump: Frolicking sumo means it’s officially springtime again in Japan!

It’s been a rather hard winter, with some areas up north experiencing heavy snowfalls and other parts with hard-hitting low temperatures. But, as heralded by the ume and cherry blossoms, spring has finally sprung.

And what could be a better symbol of these sunny days coming to Japan than some scantily clad sumo taking advantage of the pleasant warmth.

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“Sexy” Taiwanese cheerleading routines don’t seem to have much to do with sports 【Videos】

Not that Western cheerleading really has all that much to do with football or anything, and – last I checked – baseball in the US didn’t even have cheerleaders at all, but the logic goes that cheerleaders are there to get the crowd pumped up and into the competitive spirit. At least on paper, anyway.

In Taiwan, on the other hand, the cheerleaders at baseball games just kind of dance around in skimpy outfits like booth babes that got lost on their way to the auto show or something. It almost looks like they’re doing the exact opposite of what cheerleading is (ostensibly) all about, actually diverting spectators’ attention away from the game and pretty much guaranteeing that the men in the audience will need to remain seated (that’s a boner joke, you guys).

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Vietnamese actress to national soccer team: “If you win, I’ll give each one of you a kiss!”

It looks like the Vietnam national soccer team has extra motivation to practice hard in the next two months.

Popular Vietnamese actress and model Diem My, who is known to be an ardent supporter of her country’s soccer team, amused Japanese net users last week when she declared that she would reward each member of the Vietnam national soccer team with a kiss if they manage to win the upcoming Southeast Asian Games tournament. Not to sound shallow or anything, but that sounds like one heck of a deal!

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Attack on Titan teams up with Yomiuri Giants baseball club for special tickets, exclusive merch

Translation isn’t always an exact science, but there are certain conventions that translators seem to implicitly agree on. For example, look up gakuen in a Japanese dictionary, and it’ll tell you it’s another name for gakkou, or “school.” However, the more sophisticated, traditional ring that gakuen has to it means that it’s almost always rendered in English as “academy.”

Likewise, dictionaries define kyojin as “a person with an extraordinarily large body.” Nine times out of ten, kyojin gets translated as “giant,” which is also the term one of Tokyo’s two professional baseball teams, the Yomiuri Kyojin/Giants, goes with.

But if you spend more time watching anime than sports, you might favor “titan” as a translation, seeing as how the monsters from Attack on Titan are also called kyojin in Japanese. Since they’ve already got a linguistic link, the baseball team and manga/anime franchise are joining forces for four games this summer as part of a special campaign with its own exclusive merchandise.

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Kung-fu rugby invades Hong Kong Sevens 2015

I have fond memories of going to the old Harlem Globetrotter games to watch all the sports-themed hijinks and hilarity of Curly, Twiggy, and the rest of the gang. Even though my father would later lose all of my college savings on ill-advised Baltimore Rocket bets, those games still hold a warm place in my heart.

And so, it’s great to see that this tradition of comedic sports entertainment lives on in 2015 as this brief video showing some highlights from a kung-fu rugby game during the Hong Kong Sevens tournament at the end of March.

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Pro tennis player Kei Nishikori looks a Nintendo star in video with effects from Mario Tennis

Japan is internationally known for the value it places on education and fine arts. Like any country, though, Japan also loves its sports heroes, especially those who shine on the global stage.

The media’s most recent athletic darling is professional tennis player Kei Nishikori. Currently the number-five singles player in the world according to ATP rankings, Nishikori’s earning fame and fans outside of Japan as well, so perhaps its fitting that this video combines his biggest tennis victory to date with music and visual effects from another international superstar who originated in Japan, Nintendo’s Mario.

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ISIS strikes at the heart of Japan…by hacking F-League futsal club’s webpage

On the morning of Sunday, 8 March terror struck the Japanese futsal world as a banner appeared of Tokyo-based futsal club Fuchu Athletic FC for approximately three hours. Apparently bearing the flag of radical Islamic group ISIS it read: “Hacked by Islamic State (ISIS) We Are Everywhere :)”

More interesting than their suspicious use of a smiley (possibly “winky” as well) emoticon, was the surprising knowledge the organization seemingly had regarding Japanese five-on-five indoor soccer. Their attack came just as the top futsal teams in Japan were gearing up for the Puma Cup finals.

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Beautiful Chinese soccer goalie is a keeper in Japanese men’s eyes

We’ve written at length about the many Chinese women who have captured the hearts of Japanese men online. There’s been Chinese pool players, completely normal Chinese college students, and even 13-year-old dancers making men all over sweat as they furiously comment away on their keyboards.

The latest in the Chinese woman craze is the 23-year-old goalkeeper from the Chinese women’s national soccer team, Zhao Lina. Standing at 187cm tall (6ft 1.5in), she may have an imposing figure, but her smile has melted hearts all across Asia.

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