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Baseball Olympic Games 2020 - Official Payoff

Atsunori Inaba retires from the Samurai Japan managing position

Atsunori Inaba retires from the Samurai Japan managing position
30/09/2021
After four years at the helm, a WBSC Premier12 title, and an Olympic gold medal, the former NPB star is calling it quits. "My future is undecided, but I would still like to contribute to the development of baseball."

Four years and two months after being named the Samurai Japan manager, Atsunori Inaba is retiring from the position.

His tenure as manager has led Samurai Japan to a WBSC Premier12 title and an Olympic gold medal. Both historic achievements came on home soil.

"I remember that when I decided to accept the job in 2017, I set my mind on paying back for the honour with an Olympic gold medal."

Inaba went briefly through the path that he followed to get to the Olympic gold medal.

"I remember participating in the Asian Professional Baseball Championship, in the WBSC U-23 Baseball World Cup in Colombia, the Japan-US baseball series. Then we got to the Premier12. Making these steps I learned a lot. I had the possibility of trying various things and I built a team. We managed to get united as one to perform on the Olympic stage in Tokyo."

Inaba believes that the friendly against Canada before the Premier12 2019 was a turning point during his four-year tenure.

"I was very impressed by the outcome of that game. I think that it was that day that we found the core of the Samurai Japan team that would go on to win the Premier12 and the Tokyo 2020 Olympics."

Inaba said he feels grateful to the teams he played against during these four years.
"I would like to express my gratitude to the National Teams and the National Baseball Federations that accepted to come to Japan and face us. I feel a lot of respect for them."

Inaba hasn't made plans for his future. "I would like to support the Japanese baseball community. I believe the best way to repay what I received from baseball is to contribute to the development of the baseball world. At least for the small contribution I will be able to make. I really hope I can contribute to activities at the grassroots level, to have more children play baseball."