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Japan break from male tradition to appoint Takakura as women?s head coach (Japan)

Asako-TakakuraAsako Takakura has been appointed the first ever female coach of Japan?s senior women?s national team, hailed as an important breakthrough in promoting gender equality and the skills of women coaches globally.

The four-time Asian women?s coach of the year succeeds Norio Sasaki and has been entrusted with the task of reviving the hopes of the 2011 world champions ahead of the 2019 tournament in France.

Sasaki led Japan to two World Cup finals and an Olympic silver medal four years ago in London but fell on his sword last month after his side surprisingly failed to qualify for this summer?s Rio Games, with China and Australia to represent Asia.

Takakura?s first matches in charge will be a pair of away friendlies against reigning world champions United States on June 2 and 5 in Colorado and Cleveland, respectively.

?My name had already been mentioned by the media when I was offered the job, and I was thinking what a great opportunity it would be if it came my way,? said Takakura. ?I?m fully aware this is no easy job, but I told them I wanted to take this on without hesitation. The Americans are No. 1 in the world rankings. By playing them, I want to find out with my own eyes what we?re lacking.?


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