Samurai Japan win Grand Prix at 72nd National Sports Awards

Samurai Japan win Grand Prix at 72nd National Sports Awards
14/12/2023
Hideki Kuriyama, who managed Japan to the 2023 World Baseball Classic title, commented on the award: "I would like to once again express my gratitude to all the players, coaches, staff, and everyone involved."

Samurai Japan, the country's National Baseball Team, was awarded the Grand Prix at the 72nd Yomiuri Shimbun Japan Sports Award. World No. 1 Japan earned the title of Baseball World Champion for the first time as they won the 2023 World Baseball Classic in March.

"I am very honoured to receive this prestigious award," commented Hideki Kuriyama, who led Japan to a third World Baseball Classic trophy. "I would like to once again express my gratitude to all the players, coaches, staff, and everyone involved."

"We competed together, and it was thanks to teamwork that we could celebrate the success. The players fought hard to represent and honour Japanese baseball." 

Kuriyama, who stepped down after winning the World Baseball Classic, added: "I hope I can continue to make a small contribution to developing the world of sports. I'm really thankful for the award."

Hirokazu Ibata led Japan to a WBSC Premier12 title (2019) and an Olympic gold medal (Tokyo 2020).

Japan also holds the U-23 and U-18 titles of World Champion.