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Atsunori Inaba was hired to manage Samurai Japan in 2017 with the expectation the first-time skipper would grow into the job over the ensuing years and deliver baseball-mad Japan its first Olympic gold medal in the sport at the Tokyo Games. He won his first international competition in 2017 and his most recent — the Premier12 — in 2019.

All that’s left now is the big one.

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