Yukiko Ueno was the winning pitcher in the Tokyo 2020 softball final ©Getty Images

A new-look women's squad for 2022 has been picked by the Japan Softball Association, with World Games and Asian Games gold medals the target after home success at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.

Eight Olympic champions are in the provisional squad, including pitchers Yukiko Ueno, Miu Goto and Yamato Fujita.

Ueno, who is now 39, pitched six scoreless innings as Japan beat the United States 2-0 in the Olympic final.

Fujita - named the tournament's Most Valuable Player (MVP) - scored one run and drove home another in that final, while Goto pitched the final inning.

Catcher Haruka Agatsuma, infielders Yuka Ichiguchi, Hitomi Kawabata and Minori Naito, plus outfielder Nodoka Harada all return after playing at the Olympics.

Twelve players who did not play at Tokyo 2020 - where the roster was capped at 15 players - join the provisional squad.

Pitchers Misaki Katsumata, Sakura Miwa and Mio Sakamoto are among the new faces.

Tokyo 2020 MVP Yamato Fujita is poised to play at the World Games this year ©Getty Images
Tokyo 2020 MVP Yamato Fujita is poised to play at the World Games this year ©Getty Images

There are four in the outfield - Kyoko Ishikawa, Ayane Nakagawa, Risa Kawamura and Urara Fujimoto - plus four more in the infield - Yui Sakamoto, Kanna Kudo, Nana Iha and Yui Nakamizo.

Catcher Yume Kiriishi is the final athlete in the 20-player pool.

The World Games in Birmingham in Alabama is the biggest event on Japan's calendar in 2022, with the tournament also doubling as a World Championship.

The US - the top-ranked team in the world - will have home advantage as they seek revenge for being beaten in the Olympic final.

Japan are also due to defend their Asian Games softball crown in Hangzhou.

Ishikawa, who missed out on a place at Tokyo 2020, did help Japan win a fifth Asian Games gold medal in a row in 2018.