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Beach Volleyball Players Chiaki Kusuhara and Mika Teru Saiki of Japan

Updated on September 20, 2017

Photos of Chiaki Kusuhara

Beach volleyball player Chiaki Kusuhara attends a technical meeting  for the event called Swatch FIVB World Tour back in 2009.
Beach volleyball player Chiaki Kusuhara attends a technical meeting for the event called Swatch FIVB World Tour back in 2009.
Chiaki Kusuhara celebrates as she wins the point.
Chiaki Kusuhara celebrates as she wins the point.
Chiaki Kusuhara with her partner Satoko Urata (left) in 2009. Are they getting ready to play the next point?
Chiaki Kusuhara with her partner Satoko Urata (left) in 2009. Are they getting ready to play the next point?

Chiaki Kusuhara: her life and career

For those of you that enjoyed the biography of volleyball player Ayumi Kusano, here is a look at the life and careers of two more beach volleyball women. First, there is going to be a look at the life and career of Chiaki Kusuhara. I used to play beach volleyball on the Nintendo Entertainment System back in the early 1990s as a teenager and it was a lot of fun. Chiaki, a native of Matsuyama, Japan, was playing with partner Mika Teru Saiki. Chiaki one of the other veterans of the beach volleyball sport turned 40 years old in November 2015. She looks really good for her age. To date, she has won over $170,000 in prize money throughout her career and has finished as high as 4th in the world. She has had three partners throughout her career including Mika. With Ryo Tokuno, she played in 65 matches earning over $86,000 and getting a 4th place finish twice. She played in 28 matches with Mika Teru Saiki earning over $46,000. With partner Satoko Urata, she played in 27 matches earning over $37,000. Chiaki did participate in the 2008 Olympics in Beijing. Chiaki attended university in Tokyo. She won the Bangkok Asian Games in 1998 earning a Most Valuable Player or MVP award as a college volleyball player in Japan.

Mika Teru Saiki

Mika Teru Saiki is excited because she just won a point.
Mika Teru Saiki is excited because she just won a point.
Japan's Mika Teru Saiki takes a brief break as shown in this photo during a match in Berlin, Germany in 2008.
Japan's Mika Teru Saiki takes a brief break as shown in this photo during a match in Berlin, Germany in 2008.

Mika Teru Saiki: her life and career part 1

Japan is not only famous for its technology, sushi, anime and pop music but also for its volleyball players. And one such person Mika Teru Saiki. She is the oldest beach volleyball player that was playing with partner Chiaki Kusuhara. She is from the same city as her partner Chiaki Kusuhara and that city is Matsushima. Saiki has taken part on three Olympic Games.

Summer Olympics participation and volleyball career

Her first appearance was in the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta. She has also taken part in the 2000 Summer Olympics in Sydney and the 2008 Olympics in Beijing. Japan seems to produce lots of talented volleyball players. She stands at 172 centimeters tall. Her hobby is driving. She has had several partners during her career. She has played in the most overall matches with Yukiko Takahashi and Chiaki Kusuhara. But she has also played in 16 matches with Satoko Urata. Her best finish in the United States is at 5th place. She has finished a very strong and respectable 2nd place worldwide. Her career earnings total almost $147,000. Saiki graduated from high school in 1990. In 1996, she scored a major victory winning an MVP award during the volleyball championships that year.

Mika teru Saiki: her later volleyball career and post volleyball career

She really started to devote herself to the sport of beach volleyball in 1997 retiring briefly after the 2000 Summer Olympics. She got married in 2001 and gave birth to a child the following year. She returned to playing beach volleyball and retired for good after the 2009 season. In 2010, Mika became a lecturer at Ehime University and that same year she became a volleyball coach at Shinonome Junior College. Saiki also took part in the SWATCH FIVB volleyball tournament in Stavanger Norway.

© 2016 Ara Vahanian

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