The First Lady Of Pool: Masako Katsura

Masako Katsura was a Japanese billiard player considered the first female world champion in the game. She became the world champion in 1970 and held the title until 1974.

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Who is Masako Katsura?

Masako Katsura is a Japanese professional pool player who has twice been awarded the World Women’s Pool Championship title. In 2003, she became the first woman to win a world championship in software cue sports. A former champion backpacker and world cyclist, Katsura is one of Japan’s most popular sporting figures. She started playing pool at nine and quickly emerged as one of Japan’s top professionals.

In 2003, Katsura won her first world championship title in a pool by defeating Ireland’s Karen Brady in the final. The following year, she was again victorious, beating China’s Zhang Jinyu to claim the title. Regarded as one of the world’s best players, Katsura has since retired from competitive playing. Still, it continues to coach and support other professional pool players.

What did Masako Katsura do?

Masako Katsura is the first woman to hold World Pool Championship titles in both Women’s Professional and Open divisions. She also holds Tri-State 8 Ball Championship titles.

Born on July 10, 1964, in Toyama, Japan, Katsura became interested in the pool early. It began playing at the local pool hall when she was eight. After a few years of competing in junior tournaments, she turned professional. She won her first World Pool Championship title in 1989. In 1992, she became the inaugural women’s world champion in the Open division.

In 1998, Katsura became the first woman to win a historic triple crown by winning the Women’s Professional World title, Tri-State 8 Ball Championship, and European championships. She retired from professional competition in 2003 after finishing runner-up in the World Eightball Championships.

Katsura is currently retired from competition but continues to coach her fellow players and mentor younger ones. She has also worked as a commentator for televised pool matches and served as president of WPA Pool for two terms (2007-2008).

How did Masako Katsura become the First Lady of Pool?

Masako Katsura was born in Kyoto, Japan, in 1926. After attending the prestigious Tokyo Girls’ Commercial High School, she pursued a career in banking before marrying engineer and pool player Shigetaro Katsura in 1953. The couple relocated to the United States, where Masako worked as a banker while her husband played competitive pool.

In 1970, the Seniors Professional Pool Association (SPPA) held its first Ladies Professional Pool Championship. Masako had to win her division at a qualifying event to qualify for the tournament. Her husband cheered her on from the sidelines, telling her, “You can do it.” She defeated all her opponents, becoming the first Japanese woman to win a professional pool championship.

Masako continued to play and compete in professional tournaments well into her 70s. She was inducted into the SPPA Hall of Fame in 1988 and received an honorary membership from the APA in 1994. She passed away in 2002 at the age of 82.

What are some of the accomplishments of Masako Katsura?

Masako Katsura is the first Japanese woman inducted into the Professional Billiards and Snooker Association’s Hall of Fame. She has also won over fifty professional titles, including eleven world championships. In 1992, she was awarded an Honorary Fellowship from the International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF).

Masako struggled with her identity as a woman playing professional table tennis in her early years. However, she has achieved success on and off the court through hard work and determination. As a community activist, she co-founded Tables for All in Japan in 2001, which provides free tables to underprivileged children. She also supports various other charitable organizations.

What did Masako Katsura say about her career?

Masako Katsura is the only woman who has ever been a world champion in both amateur and professional pool. She began playing at six and quickly became one of Japan’s leading players. In 1992, she won the amateur World Championship; in 1994 she became the first woman to win a professional World Championship title. In 1999, she was inducted into the International Pool Hall of Fame. Masako has since retired from competitive play but continues to serve as Japan’s national team captain.

In an interview with CNN Sport in 2014, Masako spoke about her career and her goals for the future. She said: “I didn’t think about it when I started playing pool; it was just something I enjoyed doing. But after I won my world championship title, I realized there was something special about being a world champion. Winning makes you feel very wild inside – like anything is possible.”

For Masako Katsura, winning was never a given – it always required hard work and dedication. She is a true inspiration to all those who follow in her footsteps and proves that nothing is impossible if you set your mind to it.

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