Two of the most prolific Asian athletes have achieved major success recently!
Japanese-Haitian tennis player Naomi Osaka won her second Grand Slam title with her victory in the Australian Open. This win secured her place as the first Asian tennis player to ever be ranked No. 1 i the entire world. While she plays for Japan, the country she was born in, Osaka spent much of her upbringing in the United States.
Osaka’s brutal bout against the Czech Republic’s Petra Kvitova went on for some time and even reportedly left the Japanese athlete in tears of frustration. Still, the 21-year-old eventually persevered against her 28-year-old opponent. Ktitova’s hard thought game deserves praise of its own–her career was almost ended after she was stabbed by a horrific knife attack in 2016.
Last fall, Osaka squared off against American tennis legend and her personal idol, Serena Williams, though the moment was marred by conflicts between Serena and an Umpire as well as the audience. Osaka evidently has not given up and will continue to step up her game!
Chinese-American figure skater and Olympian Nathan Chen also set a new record, scoring a staggering 342.22 points in his free skate and taking home a third consecutive national title as the American champion. The last skater to accomplish this feat was Johnny Weird in 2006. The Utah native had a difficult time at last year’s Winter Olympics. Despite only winning the Bronze medal for the team event, Chen’s extremely difficult program was and remains the only one to incorporate five different quadruple jumps. His flawless program performance marks an exciting milestone on his path to greatness.
Both Naomi and Nathan struggled immensely in different ways last year, but 2019 looks to be auspicious and promising for them.