Thursday, 14 November, 2019

Naomi Osaka will represent Japan -- not USA -- at 2020 Tokyo Olympics

Naomi Osaka returns a shot against Bianca Andreescu of Canada in Beijing Naomi Osaka: World number three to give up US citizenship to represent Japan at Olympics
Rhonda Reese | 11 October, 2019, 00:27

Osaka, who will turn 22 on Wednesday, faced that deadline to relinquish one nationality because neither Japan nor the United States permits dual citizenship for adults.

The 21-year-old, who was born in Japan to a Haitian father and Japanese mother but raised in the United States, has started the process to relinquish her US citizenship so she can play for Japan in the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo, Japanese media reported on Thursday.

According to CNN, she spoke with Japanese broadcaster NHK about how it feels to be competing for the country.

Osaka told Japanese media that playing for Japan in Tokyo during the Olympics is something special for her, according to Reuters.

Under Japanese law, persons with dual citizenship are required to choose only one country to be a citizen of by their 22nd birthday.

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"It's definitely going to be very special". "I think there's no other place that I'd rather play my first Olympics". "I think that will be one of the most memorable things that ever happens to me".

Osaka rose to prominence a year ago after she managed to beat US tennis legend Serena Williams in the final of the 2018 US Open.

She is the face of several leading Japanese brands, including the carrier ANA, and "Naomi-chan" - as she is affectionately known - was the main attraction at last month's Pan Pacific Open in Osaka, which she won.

"I'm kind of looking forward to everything like the opening ceremony", she told the Olympic Channel.

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