ONES TO WATCH – Shion Izumune, Japan

Izumune winning a gold medal for Japan at the 2014 World Bowling Youth Championships

Izumune winning a gold medal for Japan at the 2014 World Bowling Youth Championships

World Bowling has searched the globe to bring you the best up and coming young bowlers! In this five week series we will present our finest picks and those athletes that we predict will take the bowling world by storm!  

Our pick for this week’s “One to Watch” is 16yr old Japanese Champion Shion Izumune. Shion has had some incredible success in her home country but recently this success has spread to the international stage and her growth in such a short space of time is setting her atop the rest! Shion was placing well in Asian championship events and international age category competitions but it was at the 2014 World Bowling Youth Championship’s that Shion really made her mark. Shion took home the Gold Medal for Japan in the All Events category. It seems that when placed amongst the best, this hardworking and determined young girl really shines! With her career just beginning to take off, we are certain that there are plenty more gold medals under her belt for Japan.

Shion, congratulations on being selected as one of World Bowling’s most influential up and coming young athletes. How does it feel to be listed as one of World Bowling’s “Ones to Watch”?

The news is of course a big surprise and I feel very proud to be carrying this honor. Bowling has given me so much in my life and I’ve made so many new friends from around the globe. To be listed as one of World Bowling’s “Ones to Watch” motivates me to train more and try harder so I won’t let anyone down.

You have been labelled as one of the hardest working young athletes in bowling, what does your training schedule consist of?

I train almost every day, not only bowling specific practice but also building my physical strength and cardiovascular endurance as well. I would say in total this is between 3 or 4 hours. You have to be honest with yourself when you practice and you have to train yourself to withstand the physical capacities needed for long competitions.

What is like for you to represent Japan at an international competition?

I feel very honored and proud. Of course I feel the pressure but the positive emotions take over and I become incredibly inspired at the world level. It is always rewarding to see how far I can push myself and prove that my place has been earned.

What are your future aspirations for yourself in the sport?

Of course the ultimate honor would be to win a Gold Medal for Japan at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games. Beyond this, I would like to win as much as I can in World Bowling’s International Championships and become famous at the world level. 

Izumune in her local bowling center in regional Japan

Izumune in her local bowling center in regional Japan

How has your life changed through bowling?

Just from travelling and competing, I have made so many friends from all over Japan and this is now extending to over all the world, this has changed my vision and how I see things. Also my confidence has grown, I was quiet and shy before and through bowling I have learned to communicate with others and even grown confidence in speaking to the media!

What advice can you give your peers that want to take up the sport?

“Good form and good nature leads you to win”.

Continuation is the only way, you have to practice in an honest way, and you have to train hard. It might begin slowly, but you have to believe in yourself and keep practicing, then the future can be as bright as you imagine!

Shion, it’s been a pleasure and we really look forward to seeing what your future in bowling will bring!

To follow Shion’s journey keep an eye on our website: worldbowling.org or the Japan Bowling Congress: http://www.jbc-bowling.or.jp/index.html

For further information, please contact:

World Bowling Megan Tidbury, PR & Marketing Director

Telephone: +41 78 830 3651; Email: megan@worldbowling.org