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Reika Utsugi (宇津木 麗華, Utsugi Reika) (born Beijing, June 1, 1963) is a Japanese softball player who played 3rd base. Originally from China, she was naturalised as a Japanese citizen in 1995.[2][3] She played in the Japanese teams that won the silver medal in the 2000 Summer Olympics, and the bronze medal in the 2004 Summer Olympics.[4]

Reika Utsugi
Personal information
Native name宇津木 麗華,Utsugi Reika
Birth name任彦麗, Ren Yanli[1]
NationalityJapanese
Born (1963-06-01) June 1, 1963 (age 56)
Beijing, China
Sport
Country Japan
SportSoftball

NaturalisationEdit

Utsugi's original name was Ren Yanli, and was born in Beijing.[3] Against her father's wishes, she arrived in Japan in 1998 and played for Hitachi Takasaki, which was managed by Taeko Utsugi.[3] She took her manager's name when she naturalised in 1995, becoming Reika Utsugi.[3] Utsugi could not participate in the 1996 Summer Olympics as a Japanese representative, despite being naturalised in 1995. The regulations in the Olympic charter required China to give her permission to play for Japan, as she had changed her nationality within three years of an Olympic event. China refused, realising the competitive threat that Utusgi posed.[3][5] Hence, Utsugi's first Olympic appearance for Japan was in the 2000 Summer Olympics.

RetirementEdit

Since retiring as an athlete she has managed the softball team of Renesas Electronics. She currently manages Bic Camera Takasaki, and has managed the Japan women's national softball team since 2011, leading them to two world titles.[2]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "アジア女子選手権" [Asian Women's Championship]. 7 February 2016. Retrieved 24 September 2017.
  2. ^ a b "Japan softball manager Utsugi targets Olympic gold in 2020". The Japan Times. 21 November 2016. Retrieved 24 September 2017. Italic or bold markup not allowed in: |publisher= (help)
  3. ^ Reika Utsugi Biography and Olympic Results
  4. ^ Kinohara, Kumi (10 September 2000). "Utsugi ready to fulfill softball dream with Japan". The Japan Times. Retrieved 24 September 2017. Italic or bold markup not allowed in: |publisher= (help)