The heat of the Rio Olympics is such that it can be felt even in Japan.
On Tuesday, Ueno Park in Taito Ward, Tokyo, drew families and students eager to watch the final of the men’s 200-meter freestyle swimming on a giant monitor prepared by the organizing committee for the 2020 Olympics and Paralympics.
“I became interested in the Olympics after watching Japan winning the gold medal in gymnastics,” said 17-year-old high school student Atsushi Seino.
The Japanese men’s gymnastics team earned the gold earlier in the day.
Seino said he is visiting Tokyo from Miyagi Prefecture to hunt for a job and happened across the public viewing site while taking a short break in the park.
Many who came to the park to visit museums or the zoo also attended the screening to cheer Kosuke Hagino as he competed in the final of the men’s 200-meter freestyle swimming.
Hagino won Japan’s first gold medal of the 2016 Rio Olympics in the men’s 400-meter individual medley on Sunday Japan time, and his fans in Ueno were ready for more gold.
“We came to the park because my child wanted to play ‘Pokemon Go,’ and we found this public viewing site,” said 48-year-old housewife Suzuki, who declined to provide her first name.
“I’m excited to see Hagino compete in the final,” she said.
Suzuki’s 10-year-old son, Takumi, who is learning to swim, said he was excited to see Hagino on a giant monitor.
Hagino took seventh place, falling short of a medal. Teammate Ryosuke Irie also finished seventh in the 100-meter backstroke Tuesday Japan time.
However, Takumi Suzuki was undaunted. “In swimming, you can feel a sense of achievement even if you can’t take first place,” he said.
Public viewing of the 2016 Rio Olympics is also being held in Showa Kinen Park in Tokyo; the Morioka History and Culture Museum and Fureai Land in Morioka, Iwate Prefecture; Kotodai Park in Sendai; and the Azuma Sports Park in the city of Fukushima.
For more information, visit jtim.es/cTG93033FLI .
In a time of both misinformation and too much information, quality journalism is more crucial than ever.
By subscribing, you can help us get the story right.