Tag Archives: Women’s

Olympic Synchronised Swimming Women’s Duet Final @ Aquatics Centre, Olympic Park


My first time at Olympic Park in Stratford City! I bought a ticket for synchronised swimming women’s duet final for £120, just to see the Olympic Park during the Games.


Observation tower, Orbit, designed by Anish Kapoor and Cecil Balmond of engineering Group Arup.

シンクロ会場のAquatics Centre(アクアティクス・センター)。世界的女性建築家、ザハ・ハディッドがデザイン。

Aquatics Centre hosted synchronised swimming, designed by world-renown female architect Zaha Hadid.


Twelve pairs who went through to the final. The audience seats was very steep and bit scary to look up – thank god my seat was on a lower row. I was a bit disappointed by the position which is quite angular despite of its most expensive A class price (only this class was available).


Japanese pair who performed last. Russia got gold, Spain earned silver, and China received bronze, and unfortunately Japan resulted in 5th, the same position at the qualifying round. →full result


Eating & drinking area, overlooking Olympic Stadium.


The world’s largest McDonald’s with 1,500 seats next to the Olympic Stadium (related article).

水球専用のWater Polo Arena(ウォーター・ポロ・アリーナ)。

Water Polo Arena, the first dedicated water-polo venue.


Velopark cycling centre. Cycling is British speciality together with rowing, and Team GB won total of 9 medals (7 Gold, 1 silver, 1 bronze) in this venue.

会場出入口のStratford Gate(ストラトフォード・ゲート)から見える、アクアティクス・センターの裏側。五輪のロゴが掲げられている。

The back of the Aquatics Centre wit Olympic logo, from the Stratford Gate.


Olympic Women’s Football Semi Final & Final @ Wembley Stadium



London Olympic is over. Last night’s closing ceremony was nothing much to do with sports but more like Diamond Jubilee Concert, but British seem to have fascinated to watch generations of big names singing old classics to latest hits, though we got a bit bored listening to the music I’d never heard and in fact those musics were not my cup of tea. Also I didn’t understand “Monty Python” part as I’ve never seen it, and I believe I am not the only one in the world.

I was into following the olympic games everyday on TV, web and Olympic apps, and now I feel empty. I am just an audience, but I completely understand some Olympic athletes experience burn-out syndrome after the Games.



This is retrospective story, but I want to share my experience in women’s football semi-final and final at London’s Wembley Stadium, after the quarter final in Cardiff. I bought those tickets before knowing who would play, hoping that Japanese team (aka Nadeshiko Japan) would go through. Since the historic victory against USA at last year’s Women’s World Cup, Nadeshiko Japan had been burdened with so much expectation and pressure from Japanese people (like Jessica Ennis for British), and they met their expectation. My tickets were not wasted after all – I paid £60 for semi-final and £125 for final for both A class tickets, and it was well worth it!


The semi-final was Japan vs France at the Europe’s second biggest Wembley Stadium with massive 90,000 capacity. People after people were coming toward the stadium from nearby Wembley Park station.


There were separate search lanes for men and women. Normally majority of the football audience is men, but this time there were more women than men. I took about 15 minutes to go through the gate.


The time for national anthems of both countries before the game. Big chunk of seats were unoccupied, probably because the game started at 5pm and not many 9-5 working people couldn’t attend. You can see a banner “Tokyo 2020“, hold up by Japanese Olympic Committee gangs?


Level 1 seating area during the half-time. There were queues everywhere at food & drink sections as well as toilets (especially for women).


Attendance of the match was 62,482. Wow!


Nadeshiko Japan won 2-1, despite of fierce attack by France on the second half. Well done, girls!


The final started at 19:45 and there were much more people coming than the semi final.


Americans, wrapped themselves with Stars and Stripes, were all pumped up and cheering everywhere, while Japanese supporters were quieter and less visible…

準決勝時と比べ、高級感漂うClub Wembleyレベル2。シャンパン・バーや座席サービスのレストランも。観覧席もクッション付きで、座り心地もベター。

In compared to Level 1 at the semi-final, Club Wembley level 2 area was more upscale, with a table service restaurant and a champaign bar. The padded seat here was more comfortable than Level 1 seat.

観客がパネルを掲げて「London 2012」を表示。昨年W杯来の日米因縁の対決とあって、女子サッカーとしては過去最高の観客数8万203人を記録。私の日本人の知り合いの80%(主観ですが)が来場、総数5万人と言われる在英日本人が勢揃いしたかと思うほど、多くの日本人が観戦した。

Audience put up the panels to show “London 2012”. The attendance of the match was massive 80,203, the record highest as a women’s football match. About 80% of my Japanese friends got the tickets, and there were so many Japanese in the stadium as if all 50,000 Japanese who live in UK came to the stadium.



Nadeshiko Japan lost 2-1, despite of their continuous attacks during the game. As a Japanese supporter, I was quite upset that the German referee didn’t give a penalty to USA for the handball in the penalty area made by Tobin Heath, although it might haven’t affected the result. In fact, replays showed a clear handball, and even Carli Lloyd admitted  in post-match interviews that the USA were very lucky to go unpenalized. There was also another controversy about what happened during the semi-final, favouring to US against Canada. Lucky you, Americans! (see details on Wikipedia) But Japanese players were wiser just accept the referee’s judgement, in compare to Canadians who raised their doubts against referee, which risk them a disciplinary action by FIFA. And at the end, the result won’t change anyway. But I feel very sorry for Canadians.

There was big booing against unpopular president of FIFA, Sepp Blatter who attended the medal ceremony. At the end of the day, everything is FIFA’s fault refusing to introduce technological assistance such as  goal-line technology or video replays to avoid misjudgement, for some strange reasons.


After lots of tears, the girls showed us great smiles at the medal ceremony. Although they lost, the game was neck and neck or they played even better, for my eyes. Great teamwork and determination. Small Japanese players who played with big Americans gave all Japanese the courage and power. Thank you for such a wonderful Olympic experience to us!!


。。。とここまでは良かったけれど、準決勝も決勝も、試合の後が悪夢。何万人と言う人波が最寄りのWembley Park(ウェンブリー・パーク)駅に押し寄せ、身動きできない。しかも準決勝の日は、信号機の異常かなんかで(よくあることだが)メトロポリタン線に遅れが出た。駅への沿道はフェンスでブロックされているので、列を抜け出すことも出来ない。決勝戦の後、通常45分ほどの道程を、2時間かけて夜1時にやっと家に帰り着いた。楽しかったけれど、疲れた。。。

But this is not the end of the story – coming back home was a true nightmare for both days. Tens of thousands of people rushing to the station stuck and couldn’t move for a while. Metropolitan line had problem of signal failure after the semi final, which often happens here in London. The path to the station was blocked on the sides and couldn’t escape once you went inside. It took two hours to go back home after the final which normally takes only 45-minutes, and it was 1 am when I finally reached home. The game was exciting, but it was exhausting as well…

Olympic Women’s Volleyball Preliminary Round @ Earl’s Court




My Olympic experience No.3 was volleyball preliminary games (Japan vs UK, Italy vs Russia) at Earl’s Court Exhibition Centre. The venue is just in front of the west exit but we had to walk from the east exit quite a while on the day, as the east side was exit only and west side was entrance only to avoid the chaos. We went to Earl’s Court Exhibition Centre several times for 100% Design (past entries: 2009 / 2010). The place is like a huge tasteless warehouse with concrete floors and a bit dark, but it was quite lively with lots of spectators.

Atmosphere inside was full of enthusiasm as British team competed on the first game. The guy with microphone was busy cheering up the audience by talking excitedly and let people who were showed on screen to beat illustrated drums appeared on the screen. Cheerleaders were dancing with the loud music during the timeouts or in-between sets. So much noise all through the games! I understand that they tried to do anything to entertain the people, but it was too much. Now I am sick of Queen‘s “We Will Rock You“, which has been played repeatedly in all Olympic venues…

This day, Japan beat UK 2-0 on the first game and Russia won with 3-2 to Italy on the second. The game of Russia and Italy was heated up for full-sets and was very exciting, but M got bored while watching the first game – I was happy that Japan won, but I wished UK played a bit better…

Olympic Women’s Football Quarter Final @ Cardiff Millenium Stadium

私のオリンピック体験2番目は、ウェールズの首都・カーディフミレニアム・スタジアムで行われた女子サッカー準々決勝、日本対ブラジル戦。カーディフまではパディントン駅から電車で2時間ちょっと。Super Off-Peak Returnという混雑時以外に使用できる割安切符でも往復£67.50(約8250円)かかる(see past entry for more about train fare)。ロンドンの会場で行われる試合は、チケット代にゾーン1〜9内乗り放題の1日券が含まれているのに、ロンドン以外の会場だと何もなし。甚だ不公平だ。そもそも「ロンドン・オリンピック」と銘打っているにも関わらず、男女ともサッカーの試合は、ウェンブリー・スタジアムで行われる数試合を除き、グラスゴーニューカッスルマンチェスターコヴェントリー、カーディフと、ロンドン以外のスタジアムで行われる。ロンドンは、ウェンブリー・スタジアムに加え、3万5000人以上収容できる大規模スタジアムが5つもあるのに(エミレーツ・スタジアムスタンフォード・ブリッジホワイト・ハート・レーンブーリン・グラウンド)、どうしてオリンピックで使用わないんだろう?LOCOGロンドンオリンピック・パラリンピック組織委員会)が、他都市にもオリンピック気分を味わってもらうためにそうしたのではないかと勝手に推測しているのだけれど、各地への移動を強いられる選手たちやサポーターにとっては、移動時間も出費もかかるし、たまったもんじゃない。


My Olympic game no.2 was the women’s football quarter final at Millennium Stadium in Cardiff. Cardiff is about two hours away by train from London Paddington station, and it cost £67.50/pp for Super Off-Peak Return fare, which is cheaper than normal fare but not cheap for supporters travelling from London (過去のエントリー. It is unfair that an Olympic ticket for any London venue includes one day travel card which you can travel free of charge within zone 1-9 (basically anywhere in London), but nothing for non-London venue. It’s a bit strange as it is called ‘London’ Olympic, but most of the Olympic football games both women’s and men’s tournaments are held outside London, except some at Wembley Stadium; in Glasgow, New Castle, Manchester, Cardiff and Coventry. London has five large football stadium with a capacity of over 35,000; Wembley StadiumEmirates StadiumStamford BridgeWhite Hart Lane, and Boleyn Ground, and I don’t understand why these stadium can’t be used for the Olympics! I guess that LOCOG intends to share some excitement with other British cities, but it is not nice for footballers and supporters who have to travel all over the country to see the games.

However, Japan beat Brazil 2-0 and we enjoyed sightseeing of Cardiff the day after, so it was worth it at the end of the day. And everyone was nice in Cardiff :) I will talk about my trip to Cardiff later.

試合後のインタビュー / Interviews after the game

試合後の鮫島彩選手 / Aya Samejima of Japanese team

My First Olympic Experience: Judo @ ExCel



This is my first Olympic experience ever! I went to see Men’s -100kg and Women’s -78kg Judo competition (repechage & bronze and final) at ExCel. I bought the ticket, expecting that at least one Japanese athlete would go to the stage, but both lost at round 16… I am completely demoralized and didn’t want to go the games at all, but I didn’t want to waste my ticket and thought it would be interesting to see different Olympic venues.

There was full of excitement inside of the arena, with supporters from different countries. Especially large noise came from British with silver medalist Gemma Gibbons and Dutch in patriotic orange uniforms with two contestants. In addition, the music played in between the games was so loud, and I regretted that I didn’t bring ear plugs. The plastic chair was uncomfortable with little leg room. The special guest of the day was Russian President Putin who also practices Judo, accompanied by Prime Minister Cameron and Foreign Secretary Hague. Putin looked very proud that Russian won the gold medal. I couldn’t get very excited as no Japanese athletes competing, but it was fun anyway.

女子決勝:ギボンズ選手(イギリス)対ハリソン選手(アメリカ)/ Women’s final, Gemma Gibbons (UK) vs Kayla Harrison (USA)

女子78kg級表彰式 / Medal ceremony of Women’s -78kg

プーチン大統領とロシア人金メダリスト、カイブラエフ選手 / President Putin and the gold medalist Tagir Khaibulaev

男子100kg級メダリストたち / Men’s -100g medalists