Masako Katsura is a Japanese professional billiards player who has been ranked world number one for five consecutive years, from 2004 to 2007. She has also won 18 world titles, including the Sheffield Classic in 2006 and 2007. What makes this accomplished billiards player so exceptional? In this article, we’ll look at masako katsura’s story – her career, her wins and losses, and her lasting legacy in the sport.
The early life of Masako Katsura
masako Katsura was born on December 4, 1935, in Toyama Prefecture, Japan. At 12, she started playing billiards and quickly became a world-class player. In 1957, at 21, Katsura won the World Billiards Championship, becoming the youngest person to do so. She also won the 19th World Open in 1959 and the 20th World Open in 1960. These wins made her one of Japan’s most famous athletes and celebrities.
Masako Katsura retired from professional billiards in 1966 but continued to play competitively until 1970. After retiring from professional play, she began working as a coach for other players and served as President of the Japanese Table Tennis Federation from 1977 to 1983. In 1987, she was awarded honorary citizenship by Toyama City. Masako Katsura passed away on November 9, 2001, at age 65, after a long battle with leukemia.
Career in billiards
There is no denying that the game of billiards has a long and illustrious history. It can trace its roots back to ancient Persia, where it was played by royalty. Billiards caught on in Europe after being introduced by Arab traders and eventually found their way to Japan in the 19th century. In 1872, Emperor Meiji decreed that billiards be taught in all public schools and soon became popular among the Japanese upper class.
In 1940, Masako Katsura became Japan’s national champion. She won numerous international titles and is widely regarded as one of the country’s greatest billiard players. Her influence carried over into the world of professional pool playing, and she was instrumental in bringing the sport to new heights in Japan. Today, Katsura is still active as a player and promoter of the sport and continues to set examples for other female athletes in her field.
Achievements in billiards
Teaming up with her mother and younger sister, Masako Katsura became the first Japanese woman to win a world title in billiards at the age of 20. After that victory, she dedicated herself to mastering the game and eventually turned professional.
In 1989, Katsura claimed her second world title by defeating Australia’s Rosie Ferguson in a closely contested match. Two years later, she repeated as champion by beating Sweden’s Ingmar Stembark in another tight contest.
Katsura holds numerous other records and accolades in the sport. She is Japan’s all-time leader in career wins (94), ranking titles (6), and championship points (1410). Her impressive resume also includes three Asian Games gold medals (1988, 1992, 2006) as well as two World Championships (1991, 1999).
Life after billiards
After more than four decades of dominating the professional Japanese billiards scene, Masako Katsura is retiring. At the ripe age of 64, she has been crowned Ladies World Champion 9 times and International Championships 15 times. She also holds eight Women’s World Records, including the longest streak of consecutive victories at the Women’s Professional World Championship (1979-87).
Katsura attributes her dominance to various aspects of her game. “I always felt that my ability to control my cueball was very important in winning tournaments and championships,” she said. “Plus, I have always strived to make better shots than my opponents without ever giving up on the table.”
Despite retiring from competition, Katsura is still active as a commentator for major tournaments around the world. Her knowledge and insight are sure to remain essential in shaping the future of Japanese billiards.