Japan's Yoshina Nishikawa at the 2018 FIVB Girls' U18 World Championship in Egypt, dreams of a professional volleyball career.
Cairo, Egypt, September 10, 2019 - When she was just seven years old, Yoshina Nishikawa got her first taste of volleyball. One day at school, out of the blue, her physical education teacher came up and asked her to join her primary school volleyball team.
She was encouraged to play volleyball by her parents, who were also active in the sport, even if not at professional level. Yoshina is one of three girls in the family, the middle sister of three. All of them play volleyball at school, but Yoshina is the only one who has moved it up a notch to international level.
Yoshina Nishikawa celebrates at the 2019 Girls' U18 World Championship in Egypt.
"It was the best match we played in my life," said the Japanese outside hitter after they rebounded from two sets down to beat Turkey 3-2 on Day 2 of the 2019 FIVB Volleyball Girls' U18 World Championship. She scored 26 crucial points with her unstoppable hits, leading her team to a resounding victory over one of the competition's heavy favourites and placing amongst the top scorers of the tournament overall.
"I was playing for the club connected to my school, the Kinrankai High School Club, in Japan and one day I received the good news from my coach that he had nominated me for a youth national team tryout," said Yoshina, who celebrates her 17th birthday today, as Japan face Thailand in the Round of 16 knockout stage at the World Championship in Cairo.
"I felt happy for the news but I was even happier a few days after the tryouts, when I knew that I had been selected for the national team," she added.
It was a great opportunity for Japan's best scorer to play a World Championship at just 16 years old. The team's head coach Daichi Saegusa depends on her attacking talent to compete for the trophy. She is now ready to start a new era in her life as a professional volleyball player.
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FIVB Volleyball Girls' U18 World Championship