1967 Universiade WAG

1967: The Women’s Competition at the University Games

In 1963 and 1965, the Hungarian team won the team titles at the University Games. They were unable to defend their title because Hungary boycotted the competition in support of North Korea:

The Tokyo 1967 Summer Universiade certainly had its challenges even before the competition started, with the Eastern bloc nations such as the Soviet Union, East Germany, North Korea, Romania, Hungary, Bulgaria, Poland, and Cuba boycotting the Games because of the political dynamics at the time. The first to boycott was North Korea, who demanded that it be referred to as the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea during the Universiade, a request that was denied. The countries from the East then rallied around their communist ally and also pulled out.

Source:  Spotlight: Remembering the Tokyo 1967 Summer Universiade

Reminder: At other competitions, there was controversy over referring to the German Democratic Republic as East Germany.

As a result, the 1967 University Games were a rather small competition that ended with Japan winning easily over the United States, and Matsuhisa Miyuki winning the all-around comfortably. (Yes, there was a time when the U.S. women sent teams to the University Games.)

Here are the results, as well as a translation of Japan’s Official Report on the 1967 University Games.

Caption: Matsuhisa Miyuki, winner of the women’s individual all-around, with her excellent form on floor exercise (left) and balance beam (right). (女子個人総合で優勝した松久ミユキ選手の床運動 (左)と平均台 (右)のみごとなフォーム)

Source: Japan’s Official Report on the 1967 University Games



1. JPN27.5528.1028.4028.55112.60
2. USA26.8027.4027.7528.10110.05
3. KOR26.5025.8526.0027.40105.75


1. Matsuhisa
2. Metheny
3. Katori
4. Hashiguchi
5. Gleason
6. Yamagami
7. Schaenzer
8. Leguet
9. Hashimoto
10. Choe
11. Jeong
12. Choe
13. Welsh
14. Jeong
Note: Historically, Katori’s surname (香取) has been transliterated as Kandori.

The Schedule

August 31, 1967


September 2, 1967


Competition Commentary

The following commentary was taken from Japan’s Official Report on the 1967 University Games.

The women’s competition was held on August 31 and September 2 according to the above schedule. 

Due to the small number of participants from Japan, the United States, South Korea, France, and Australia, instead of using the international competition method, all participants performed in each event and then moved on to the next event.

On August 31, on the first day of the competition, the Japanese team appeared on the podium following the American team’s performance on vault. The first performer, Yamakami, could not show her usual strength on vault, and failed on her landing, so she started with a low score of 8.65. The team was worried about the excitement of the team, but Katori and Matsuhisa performed their Yamashitas well, and they made waves with their scores, and even Hashiguchi, who is not so good at this event, landed a handspring well, and the team score was 27.55, which was 0.75 ahead of the American team in the first event, and they moved to the next event, uneven bars. On uneven bars, the Japanese team was in the top position, and each of them performed well, increasing their score to 28.10 points, which widened the difference between first and second place. Despite Matsuhisa’s unfortunate failure in the finishing full turn, after the first day of competition, the Japanese team was a total of 1.45 points ahead of the second-place U.S. team, and in the individual all-around, Katori, Matsuhisa, Metheny, Hashiguchi, and Gleason were separated by a narrow margin, making the second half of the competition interesting.

On September 2, the second day of the competition began with balance beam, where South Korea, the individuals, and the U.S.A. appeared, all of them without any major mistakes, especially Metheny and Gleason’s big and stable performances were remarkable, and they increased their scores in the individual all-around. In the women’s competition, the Japanese team started their performance in a stifling atmosphere, as they were most likely to make mistakes on balance beam, especially following the stable and good performance of the U.S. team. Katori had a big wobble, causing a moment of panic in the audience, but everyone did well to widen the gap. In the individual competition, Matsuhisa, with a high score of 9.60 on balance beam, overtook Katori and took the top position.

At this point, the team was already 2.10 points ahead and was considered certain to win the team competition, but the focus of the competition was on the individual title between the Americans — such as Metheny, who excels on floor exercise with her high-quality tumbling — and the Japanese competitors. First, the U.S. team, with its excellent combination of tumbling and powerful performance, scored a high team score of 28.10, and their ace, Metheny, increased her individual score by 9.50, so that Japanese athletes were no longer allowed to make even the slightest mistake to win the individual title.

However, Japanese athletes also did well. Hashiguchi, the first performer, showed a good start with a rhythmical and expressive performance, scoring 9.50, which gave a boost to the team. Finally, Matsuhisa, who showed a wonderful, speedy, and unique performance, making the most of her small body, scored a high 9.60 to win the team championship with a team score of 28.55. Matsuhisa was able to win the individual all-around, which was the focus of the second half of the competition, with high scores of 9.60 in both of the second half events, supported by the team’s harmony and good performances. However, the American competitors, such as Metheny, who shared second place with Katori, showed great growth, and the team is expected to be a good rival for Japan in the future, and many good performances left a lasting impression.

[Reminder: The Japanese women had won team bronze at the 1962 World Championships, the 1964 Olympic Games, and the 1966 World Championships.]

女子競技は,前記の競技時程にしたがい, 8月31日と9月2日の2日間に競技が行なわれた。日本,アメリカ,韓国, およびフランス, オーストラリアの個人各1名と,参加が少ない関係から, インターナショナルの競技方法でなく、1種目ごと, 全参加者が演技を行ない、 次に移動する方法がとられた。

8月31日, 競技第1日の跳馬は, アメリカの演技に続いて,日本チームが登場した。 1番手山上選手の転回とびは, 日頃の力が十分に発揮できず,着地にも失敗して, 8.65 と低い評価で始まり, チームとしての盛り上がりが心配されたが,香取,松久と, 山下とびの好演技が続き,順当な得点で波を作り,この種目をあまり得意としない最後の橋口選手まで, 転回とびで着地をきめ,チーム得点 27.55と,最初の種目でアメリカチームに0.75の差をつけ, 気分良く次の平行棒に移動した。 段違い平行棒は,日本チームがトップで, それぞれ好調に良い演技を見せ,28.10点と2位との差をさらにひろげた。 松久選手がフィニッシュの, 1回ひねりおりで失敗したことが残念なことであったが,競技第1日目は, 2位アメリカチームにトータルで1.45点の差をつけ、また個人総合は, 香取, 松久, メスニー, 橋口, グリースンが、僅かの差でならび, 後半の競技を興味深いものにした。

9月2日、 競技第2日目は、平均台から開始され、 韓国、 個人について アメリカが登場、全員大きなミスもなく、 特にメスニー, グリースンの大きな安定した演技が目立ち, 個人総合の得点を伸ばした。 女子競技では, 平均台が一番過失の出しやすい種目であり、またアメリカチームの安定した好演技に続いての演技だけに,息苦しいふんいきの中で,日本チームの演技が開始された。 香取選手が大きくぐらつき, 一瞬会場をハッとさせる場面も出たが, 全員よく健闘してさらに差をひろげ, 個人では, 平均台で9.60の高得点を出した松久選手が, 香取選手を抜いてトップにおどりでた。

この時点では, 団体対抗はすでに2.10点の差をつけ優勝確実と考えられたが、 質の良いタンブリングを武器として,次のゆか運動を得意とするメスニーなどアメリカ勢と,日本選手との個人総合タイトルに競技の焦点がしぼられた。まずアメリカチームが、 持ちまえの良いタンブリングをふんだんにおりこみ、すばらしいコンビネーションで,迫力のある良い演技を展開して, チーム得点 28.10と高い得点を取り, エース格のメスニー選手も9.50と個人得点を伸ばしたので、 個人タイトルを目指して, 日本選手は、 わずかの失敗もゆるされなくなった。 しかし日本選手も健闘、一番手の橋口選手がリズミカルな良い表現動作で 9.50 と好調なすべり出しを見せたことがチームに盛り上がりを作り,最後に, 小柄な体を生かした, スピード感豊かな個性的なすばらしい演技を見せた松久選手が9.60の高得点を出してチーム得点28.55と,堂々と団体優勝を飾ることができた。 後半競技の焦点であった個人総合も, チームの和と好演技にささえられ, 松久選手が後半2種目ともに,9.60 の高得点で優勝を獲得することができたが、香取選手と2位を分けたメスニーなどアメリカ勢の成長もすばらしく、 将来日本の良きライバルとして期待がかけられ、 多くの好演技が印象に残った。

Japan’s final reflections on the women’s competition.

The competition ended with both the men’s and women’s teams winning, due in part to the absence of strong opponents, but in the women’s competition, the U.S. team did very well, and their quality tumbling and combinations on floor exercise were excellent, and their physical strength as gymnasts and their willing attitude, which had not been seen before, as well as the seriousness of the coaches, showed that they will surely grow to be a strong opponent of Japan in the future.

競技の内容は、 強敵の不参加もあり、男女とも優勝で終わったが, 女子競技ではアメリカチームの健闘が目立ち, ゆか運動で見せた、 質の良いタンブリングや、 そのコンビネーションは優秀なもので、 体操選手としての体力もあり、今まで見られなかった意欲的な態度や, コーチ陣の真剣な姿は、将来日本の強敵として必ず成長してくることが予想された。

Appendix: A Few Vignettes

Japan’s Official Report on the competition includes a few sidebars. One pertains to the music played during the competition, while the other focuses on Japanese-American gymnasts.


Playing the best songs of the country?

Popular taste in gymnastics

Popularity in Gymnastics

(September 1, Nikkan Sports)

…There was one elaborate twist in the gymnastics competition. In the women’s competition, which featured athletes from five different countries, Mr. Yoshimura and Mr. Goto, who were dispatched from Kawai Instruments, played popular songs from their countries on the electronic organ. When the Japanese gymnasts performed,  they were playing “Otemoyan.” “This is our hospitality,” said an association official, and was well received by the audience, who said, “This is much more thoughtful than announcing JUSB, KUSB, or some other incomprehensible abbreviation.”

The songs played were “Tonight” from the U.S., “Arirang” from South Korea, and “C’est si bon” from France, which created a bit of a concert atmosphere.

お国の名曲? を演奏体操で好評の趣好
(9月1日 日刊スポ)

・・・体操競技で凝った趣向が一つあった。 女子演技は5か国の選手が参加して行なわれたが, 日本選手が演技するときは “おてもやん” といったぐあいにその国のポピュラー曲を河合楽器から派遣された吉村, 後藤両氏が電子オルガンで演奏。 「ファンサービスです」 協会関係者は語っていたが,この趣向「JUSBとかKUSBとか, わけのわからない略称をアナウンスされるよりよほど気がきいている」と観客席でも好評。

ちなみに演奏された曲は米国がトゥナイト,韓国はアリラン, フランスはシャンソンのセシボン–などで,ちょっとした演奏会的ムードだった。

Japanese-American Gymnasts

Two Japanese American Representatives

(September 1, Asahi)

…Two third-generation Japanese Americans are on the U.S. national gymnastics team. They are Makoto Sakamoto (21) for men and JoAnne Hashimoto (18) for women. On this day, Ms. Hashimoto was the first to appear. She is a sophomore at Southern Illinois University and said that math is her strongest subject. She was very popular at the venue, she was nervous as she was the “first performer” on the first day of the competition, with her small, tanned body of just over 148 cm [roughly 4’10”]. And her always charming smile was gone. On vault, she was as bouncy as a rubber ball, and failed to do a quarter-twist in the run-up. She has been in gymnastics for less than 6 years, so she is still not up to the world standard.

“I could not make it at all, as I was so nervous” she disappointedly said, but soon added, “On Sunday (the 3rd), my grandmother will come from Kobe. I was surprised at how big Tokyo is. I would like to see most of Japan, the birthplace of my grandmother and grandfather,” and with that, her smile returned.

(9月1日 ・ 朝日)

・・・アメリカの体操代表選手の中に、 2人の日系三世がいる。 男子のマコトサカモト選手 (21) と女子のジョアン・ハシモト選手 (18)。 この日はまずいシモトさんが登場。 南イリノイ大2年生で数学が一番得意だという。会場でも大変な人気を呼んだが,大会第一日のしかも“トップバッター” とあって148cmそこそこの小麦色の小さなからだに, 緊張感が走る。そしていつもたやさない愛くるしい笑顔も消えていた。 跳馬ではゴムマリのようにはずんで助走4分の1ひねりを入れたが失敗。 やはり体操歴が 6年足らずなので, 世界の水準にはまだまだといという感じだ。

「すっかりあがってしまって、 全然ダメでした」と残念そうだったが,すぐに 「日曜日 (3日) には神戸からおばあさんがやってきます。 東京はとても大きくてびっくりしました。 ぜひおばあさんとおじいさんの生れた国, 日本をたっぷり見て行きたい」と笑顔を取戻していた。

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