“I never imagined I’d come as far as I have with my partner from junior high, aiming for something as big as the Olympics.”
Men’s doubles No. 4 Takeshi Kamura and Keigo Sonoda have come a long way and are celebrating ten years of their partnership. Their opposite personalities are something both the players give credit to their long-standing partnership.
Kamura says Sonoda is a mystery to him even after all their time as partners and said, “Just when I think I’ve figured him out, he does something unexpected. So he remains a mystery to me.”
Through an interview with Olympic Channel, the pair talked about their self-assessments, their partnership and their vision for the Tokyo Olympics.
The following is an excerpt from the interview.
Paired since middle school, Sonoda remains mysterious.
Sonoda: “He (Kamura) is always aggressive regardless of the situation. He makes sure to chase down shots and I cover. His aggressiveness allows me to play off him.”
Kamura admitted that he was more of a vocal person and said what came to his mind while Sonoda is a quieter person and that he just went about his business.“In fact, I still don’t know what he’s like as a person…he remains a mystery to me.”
From Rio to Tokyo.
Sonoda said they had a hard time during the qualification for the Rio 2016 Olympics but the struggle during that time had given them the confidence for their second time around. Kamura added they are pursuing the opportunity to win a medal in the men’s doubles discipline and create history for their country.
At the age of 30, both the players are determined to give their best at the Tokyo Olympics. The last tournament they won was the 2019 Singapore open.
Sonoda: “We’re at home and if we qualify, there wouldn’t be a better way to repay the people who backed us. So for them, I hope we can leave everything out there on the court.”
Kamura: “Age wise, Tokyo will be my last shot at Olympics. I want this to be the culmination of my career by winning the first men’s medal. So I’m all in for Tokyo.”
Currently, Kamura and Sonoda are in 5th place in the Race To Tokyo Qualifications while teammates Hiroyuki Endo and Yuta Watanabe are at No. 4. The All England champions have a lead in the head-to-head record (3-2) and have won the last three meetings as well.