USA Softball vs. Japan Named Top 10 Rivalry in Summer Olympics History
By Jamie Heflin
OKLAHOMA CITY—The USA Softball Women’s National Team was included in a recent Yahoo Sports article on the Top 10 Greatest Rivalries in the history of the Summer Olympics the Amateur Softball Association (ASA) of America announced today.
USA Softball’s 1996-2008 Olympic contests with Japan were one of only two team competitions selected for the article. The remainder of the selections were rivalries between individuals.
“Although women’s softball is no longer a part of the Olympics, U.S. and Japan went head-to-head in some memorable matchups,” Yahoo Sports contributor Patrick Hattman said. “The U.S. captured the first three golds but Japan finally got its Olympic title in the sport by upsetting the heavily-favored Americans in 2008.”
Despite the sport’s exclusion from the Olympic Games, the USA versus Japan softball rivalry is just as strong as ever. The two teams competed four times in other events over the course of the 2012 season with each team winning twice. In July, the rivals met in the finals of the International Softball Federation (ISF) World Championship in Canada. The gold medal game went 10 innings with Japan narrowly pulling out the 2-1 victory in the end.