Japan hails ‘bright news’ of Matsuyama’s Masters win
Published on: April 12, 2021 10:01 (EAT)
Japan sucked in its breath as Hideki Matsuyama almost blew his chance to win the Masters but the golfer’s one-shot victory at Augusta National sparked a joyous reaction back home as the country celebrated another sporting triumph in testing times. Matsuyama, 29, became the first man from Japan to win one of golf’s major titles, a feat that drew praise from government and Olympics officials with the Tokyo Games just three months away. Katsunobu Kato, Japan’s top government spokesman, expressed “congratulations and respect from the heart” for Matsuyama’s “historic” win, which came as another ray of hope during the COVID-19 pandemic. “It is another bright piece of news of a Japanese athlete’s outstanding performance on the global stage under tough circumstances like training,” Kato told a regular news conference. Kato pointed to tennis player Naomi Osaka’s win at the Australian Open and Shohei Ohtani’s outstanding performance both as a hitter and a batter this week in Major League Baseball as further evidence of Japan’s sporting success.