The Los Angeles Angels' two-way phenom Shohei Ohtani was voted the most popular athlete in Japan, according to results of a public opinion poll announced on Friday.
Ohtani, who is 4-1 as a pitcher with six home runs and 20 RBIs as a batter in his first major league season, was particularly popular among men in the nationwide survey conducted by Central Research Services Inc.
Veteran outfielder Ichiro Suzuki, who transitioned to an advisory position with the Seattle Mariners last month, was second on the list, followed by two-time figure skating Olympic gold medalist Yuzuru Hanyu in third.
Another survey found that interest in the FIFA World Cup kicking off on June 14 in Russia was at 43.4 percent, down 8.4 percent from the previous poll.
The surveys were conducted all over Japan from April 6-15 and included 1,207 responses from men and women aged 20 and older.