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IFF GoGirls! Ambassador Yui Takahashi (JPN) – 27.10.2017

28-year-old Yui Takahashi plays for IBF Dalen in the second highest league in Sweden, and is currently working as a Japanese language teacher. She has played floorball since she was six years old and was part of the Japan national team for the first time in 2004. She has also been a coach of the men´s and the women´s U19 national teams and is part of the IFF Athletes´ Commission.

How does Men’s Floorball and Women’s floorball differ in your country?
- I think the difference is only in number of players and clubs. So, because of that when I played in Japan, we had less matches than the men. And also, there are a few women referees but much less than men referees. 

How do you practice floorball?
- I play with IBF Dalen and we have practices three times a week and one or two matches in the weekends during the season. I often train at the gym two to four times a week.

How did you become a national team player?
- When I was 7 years old, one of the national team´s members came to my after-school care as a teacher and started working there. She told me "Floorball will be an Olympic sport when you will be 20 years old. So just train hard and become an Olympian!" I believed her and from that day, my dream became to be an Olympian as a floorball player.
Then I trained hard in order to become a member of the national team, and when I was 15 years old, I got a chance to play in the national team. It was 2004 and I still play in the national team. Long history!

What has been the most peculiar situation that has happened to you during a floorball match?
- It was a match at the WFC qualification in February. It happened during the 2nd period. The opponent had the ball and tried to score when I was on the rink, and the shoot went to over the goal and rink, then I saw the ref signed it would be our free hit from our corner.
So, our line ran to the bench, but then I heard a long whistle. It meant that the opponent scored! I didn´t understand what happened because I ran to the bench and didn´t see the rink. And my teammates didn´t understand either. It happened really fast, so no one understood what happened. I felt it was strange that it would be our free hit, but they scored.
After the match, we watched the video on the IFF YouTube channel, and we found out the situation. The ref signed to us, but the opponent started playing instead of us, and the ref didn´t say anything. So, it was his fault. Fortunately, we won the match, but it was really strange!

How will you prepare for the WFC?
- As an individual, I try to have harder physical training than last year because we will play 5-7 matches in 9 days in WFC. And also, I am a small player, so I need to be strong to play against taller players.
At the same time, I try to watch floorball matches as much as I can. We have a lot of things that we can learn from them and fortunately I live in Umeå, Sweden which is a popular region when it comes to floorball, so I can watch many top-level matches.
And team Japan train really hard, both inside and outside the rink. We had a gathering in the middle of June and practised together and I also trained with the team during summer. Physical training was really hard! We often have good meetings, so I know how my team/line is.