Remarkable Young Japanese Athletes

Proper Noun Trivia

*This series explains the meanings of proper names, including names of places, companies, people, brands and others.
Name 錦織 圭
にしこり けい
Kanji meaning brocade / weave / jewel (angle)
Nishikori is the first Japanese tennis player to be ranked amongst the world’s top five players. He was runner-up at the 2014 US Open, making him the first ever male player from an Asian country to reach a Grand Slam singles final. He has qualified for the ATP World Tour Finals.
(Born December 29, 1989)


Name 大谷 翔平
OTANI Shouhei
おおたに しょうへい
Kanji meaning big / valley / soar / even (peace)
This Hokkaido Nippon-Ham Fighters baseball player is both a pitcher and outfielder. In 2014, he pitched a 162 kph ball, the fastest recorded pitch. He finished the season with ten wins, four defeats, earned a 2.46 run average, and batted a 274 average which included ten home runs. *Currently belongs to Los Angeles Angels.
(Born July 5, 1994)


Name 萩野 公介
はぎの こうすけ
Kanji meaning bush clover / field / public / mediate
This swimmer competes in the 200m and 400m individual medley races. He took gold in both events at the 2014 Pan Pacific Championships. Taking seven medals away from seven events, he was named the MVP (most valuable player) at the 2014 Asian Games. *2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics gold medal.
(Born August 15, 1994)


Name 羽生 結弦
HANYU Yuzuru
はにゅう ゆづる
Kanji meaning feathers / life (birth) / bind / bowstring
The first Japanese male figure skater to win a gold medal at the Sochi Winter Olympics, he broke the 100-point barrier (101.45) in the men’s figure skating short program. In addition, he was the 2014 World Champion, the 2013 – 2014 Grand Prix Final Champion and 2018 Pyeong Chang Olympics gold medal.
(Born December 7, 1994)


Name 桐生 祥秀
KIRYU Yoshihide
きりゅう よしひで
Kanji meaning paulownia / life (birth) / auspicious (happiness) / excel
Kiryu has equaled the world junior 100m record with a time of 10.01 seconds. Kiryu’s time makes him the fastest ever 17-year-old in the 100m category. He is expected to be the first Japanese runner to break the ten second barrier. In 2017, in the official record of 100 m running, it recorded the first 9.98 in Japanese history.
(Born December 15, 1995)


Name 白井 健三
しらい けんぞう
Kanji meaning white / well / healthy / three
Shirai won a gold medal in the floor category at the 2013 World Artistic Gymnastics Championships. He is the first gymnast ever to successfully complete a quadruple twist at a major event (it is now called “Shirai-Nguyen”).*2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics gold medal (Group).
(Born August 24, 1996)

[From Hiragana Times article]


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