Two time tennis grand slam champion, Naomi Osaka, intends to play for the hosts at the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo after choosing to maintain Japanese citizenship.
The 21-year-old, told Japanese broadcaster NHK in an interview on Thursday that she had begun the necessary administrative procedures.
Under Japanese law, duel citizens must choose one nationality before reaching 22 years of age.
Osaka, whose mother is Japanese and father Haitian, also has American nationality but presently represents Japan when playing.
“It gives me a special feeling to try to go to the Olympics to represent Japan,’’ Osaka said.
“I think I will be able to put more of my emotion into it by playing for the pride of the country.’’
Osaka became the first Japanese major winner by claiming the 2018 U.S. Open and followed that triumph with the Australian Open this year.
She is currently number three in the world rankings. (NAN)
Edited by Halima Sheji/Abdulfatah Babatunde