Emperor Congratulates Women’s World Cup Team, Says He Was “Surprised” by Kaihori’s PK Save

Japanese Emperor, Coach Sasaki, and Captain Sawa
Coach Sasaki (center) and Captain Sawa (right) of “Nadeshiko Japan”, the Women’s World Cup Champions, have a pleasant chat with the Emperor during a party at the Akasaka Imperial Garden the afternoon of the 13th. Photo by Hidetoshi Nakata.

Emperor Congratulates Women’s World Cup Team, Says He Was “Surprised” by Kaihori’s PK Save
Yomiuri Shimbun: 陛下「びっくりしました」…海堀のPK足止め
October 13, 2011

The Emperor and Empress hosted an autumnal party at the Akasaka Imperial Gardens on the 13th. 1980 people attended, including Coach Sasaki and the rest of the Japanese women’s soccer team, nicknamed “Nadeshiko Japan”, which won the Women’s World Cup this summer.

The Emperor said to Coach Sasaki that when keeper Ayumi Kaihori blocked a penalty kick with her legs in the championship game, “I was surprised that such a thing was possible.” Coach Sasaki jokingly replied, “She was possessed by a spirit.

Original/原稿:
陛下「びっくりしました」…海堀のPK足止め

園遊会で女子サッカー日本代表「なでしこジャパン」の佐々木監督(中央)、沢主将(右)と歓談される天皇陛下(13日午後、東京・赤坂御苑で)=田中秀敏撮影

 天皇、皇后両陛下主催の秋の園遊会が13日、東京・元赤坂の赤坂御苑で開かれ、サッカーの女子ワールドカップ(W杯)で優勝した日本代表(なでしこジャパン)の佐々木則夫監督ら約1980人が出席した。

 佐々木監督は、決勝戦でキーパーの海堀あゆみ選手がPKを足で止めた場面について陛下から「ああいうことができるのかなと思って、びっくりしました」と話しかけられると、「神がかりでございました」とちょっとおどけて応じた。
(2011年10月13日19時32分 読売新聞)

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