Makihiro Motomiya has been part of the female Japanese National Team for years, as one of the strongly involved individuals in Japanese water polo.
In 2019, the Japanese women finished 13th at the World Championships, but they didn’t disappoint, as they suffered narrow losses to some of the greatest teams, like Italy and Australia. As host of the Olympic games in Tokyo, the Japanese underdogs managed to put up a challenge for a few major favourites.
Here are head coach Motomiya’s top 5 picks of the season:
1. Ashleigh Johnson (USA)
US National Player | Clubs: Ethnikos | Position: GoalkeeperDuring the Olympic final, it were her incredible saves that kept Spain at only 5 goals. A goalkeeper who will remain in the history of the women's water polo world.
2. Maica Garcia Godoy (ESP)
Spanish National Player | Clubs: CN Sabadell | Position: Center-ForwardEurope's number one player in both name and reality. She was also the best center at the Olympics. A player who can play delicately despite being tall. She was a truw star in both offense and defense throughout every match including the final.
3. Maddie Musselman (USA)
US National Player | Clubs: UCLA | Position: Left DriverMVP player at the Greek super finals earlier this year. She got into Tokyo with the best finish. She contributed to the American gold medal with her expected scoring ability.
4. Dorottya Szilágyi (HUN)
Hungarian National Player | Club: Dunaújváros | Position: Left DriverThis sharpshooter from the high shooting point is the number one in the world. A true goal getter with an outstanding killer instinct. A top Hungarian player who feels like a generational change with captain Rita.
5. Ekaterina Prokofyeva (RUS)
Russian National Player | Clubs: Kinef-Surgutneftegaz Kirishi | Position: Left DriverAlthough she does not have as much movement as she did during her past, she is arguably the number one player who contributes to the team as a veteran with both defense and offense, moving freely in the field without taking brakes.
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