Kumi Nakada said Wednesday she hopes to rise to the challenge as the first woman to oversee the women’s national volleyball team.
“I feel the heavy weight of responsibility,” Nakada, who has been appointed to replace 2012 London Olympic bronze medal-winning coach Masayoshi Manabe, told a press conference at the National Training Center.
“I want to make use of my strength as a female trainer. I have been given backing and want to put everything on the line at the end of my volleyball career in Tokyo (at the 2020 Olympics).
Nakada, a former setter for Japan, is currently in charge of the Hisamitsu Springs team in the women’s Premier League.
The 51-year-old will, along with men’s coach Yuichi Nakagaichi, assume her new role next spring after the league campaign finishes.
A longtime standout on the national team, Nakada won bronze at the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics. She has coached Hisamitsu since 2012, winning three league titles and four Japan championships.
Nakagaichi, a former Japan attacker who was a director at men’s Premier League club Osaka Blazers Sakai, replaces Masashi Nambu as men’s national team boss.
“I’m motivated as coach for the challenge that lies ahead at the Tokyo Olympics,” said Nakagaichi.
IN FIVE EASY PIECES WITH TAKE 5