Tokyo: Japan's hat-trick of FIFA awards has boosted their bid for a historic women's World Cup-Olympic double and, according to their football chief, encouraged the disaster-hit nation and Asia as a whole.
Homare Sawa, whose last-gasp equaliser helped Japan win the women's World Cup in July, said on Wednesday after returning home with the Women's Player of the Year she was dumbstruck by the honour.
"My mind went blank when my name was called. Now it is slowly sinking in. I want to work hard and live up to the fame of this award," the 33-year-old captain and midfielder told a news conference in Tokyo.