Atwater Cup 2011
28 Mar-02 Apr, Montreal, Canada, $25k
Misaki in Montreal
Interview with Japanese #1 squash
player Misaki Kobayashi
is it back in Japan two weeks after the
Itís pretty devastating, itís going to take at least a year,
probably longer, to clean it up and then the re-building phase
Where were you when this all happened?
I was in Tokyo in a car with a few other squash players going to
the courts. Buildings started shaking around us. It was pretty
scary as it lasted for what seemed like a long time.
What did you do after the earthquake?
carried onto the courts towards a highway first, but it closed
all of a sudden so there must have been some road damage, so we
went another way to get to the courts.
After hitting we all went our own way and when I arrived home I
turned the TV on to see if anything had happened. Thatís when we
saw the Tsunami destroying Sendai which is about 350 kilometres
That must have been hard to watch?
it was really bad. I have a lot of friends in Sendai but I later
found out that they were all ok.
The next day I was due to travel to Kuala Lumpur for a squash
tournament but there was no transport operating out to the
airport so I was unsure if I could get there. I later heard that
there were some late night trains going so I managed to get on
one that night so I could catch an early morning flight out the
next day. That was a restless night as I had to sleep on the
It must have been tough going to a squash tournament while
all of this was happening back in Japan?
It was quite unsettling but I was only in KL for a few days
before heading back to see family and friends.
When you went back to Tokyo after being in Kl for a few
days what was the feeling like?
The country was in a state of shock, there were so many things
to deal with and with the radiation pouring out of reactor three
we started having a lot of other major problems that we are
still obviously dealing with.
This is a hard time for the Japanese people and our hearts
go out to all of them I am sure from everyone in squash, but
after all of this is over and the country starts getting back on
its feet do you plan on helping out in any way?
Well actually I will run some charity auctions maybe in the
summer with all proceeds going into a fund to help with the
cause. I have some signed shirts from Nicol David that she gave
me when I was in KL so that will be a part of it as well.
In Sendai there were some sports clubs and squash courts that
were damaged so I also hope to go up there when it is safe and
run some more auctions and to do what I can.
Thatís great that you will find the time in your busy
schedule to do something like that, but before the charity work
whatís coming up for you?
After the Texas Open I have some events in India and then the
Asian Games before heading home. After that I will spend the
summer training hard, possibly looking for a coach to take my
game forward and to do what I can to raise money for the
devastation that has left the Northern Districts in a state of
Thank you to Misaki on taking the time to talk to us about
the aftermath in Japan, and we wish her all the best with her
squash and with her charity work this summer.