JOC won’t change gold medal target for 2016 Olympics

Kyodo News

Japanese Olympic Committee senior executive board member Haruki Uemura said Tuesday Japan’s target of finishing third in the gold medal table at the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics remains unchanged.

“We have no intention of changing our goal of finishing third in the gold medal table,” said Uemura.

The JOC had initially set the ambitious goal before Tokyo failed in its bid to host the 2016 Games.

Japan won nine gold medals to finish eighth in the gold rankings at the Beijing Olympics in 2008 and the JOC hopes to “roughly double” that for the 2012 London Olympics and has set its sights on fifth place in the table.

“We want to get 16 to 18 gold medals,” said Uemura.

Japan won gold in swimming, judo, wrestling and softball in Beijing but with softball and baseball no longer on the Olympic menu, Uemura said Japan needs to find “something extra” to win gold medals in other sports.

“Softball and baseball are not part of the Olympic program anymore, so we have to find something extra,” Uemura said. “Along with gymnastics and women’s marathon we have hopes for rowing and fencing.”