The national high school athletic event has been held in Okinawa now. Reinori Kajikita (16), a Deaf freshman of Hiroshima Prefecture Setouchi High School, entered the list of the best 16 players for tennis men's singles on August 2, the sixth day of the event.
He says that though it was not possible to hear the sounds of a tennis ball bouncing in the court, he was not in tension, striking the ball firmly.
Reinori won a sweeping victory against the hearing second grader in the first round, and overwhelmed the hearing third grader again by the strong stroke in the second round.
He was given the racket for children at the age of four, and ever since loves to play tennis. He was ever the youngest player who acquired the silver medal at the Deaflympic Games held in Taiwan last summer. He won the championship in the Hiroshima Prefecture sports meet before participating in the national high school athletic event in Okinawa.
He has a dream to become a professional player.
Reinori has participated in the junior promotion training camp that a former top professional Shuzo Matsuoka sponsors. He clearly remembers Reinori. "He was striking a ball so hard that the racket would be flown. I felt an excellent sense in him".
Reinori lipread his coach and brushed up the skills. He still chases a ball in silence in the court.