• Kyodo


Yoshinori Sakai, who served as the final torch runner in the relay for the 1964 Tokyo Olympics, died of a cerebral hemorrhage early Wednesday morning at a hospital in Tokyo, his former employer said. He was 69.

Sakai was born in the city of Miyoshi, about 60 km northeast of Hiroshima, on Aug. 6, 1945 — the same day that it was reduced to rubble by an atomic bomb. He was selected as the final runner in the torch relay for an event seen as a symbol of the nation’s postwar reconstruction and commitment to peace. He was a freshman student at Waseda University at the time.

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