Japan’s Olympic delegation held a wrap-up ceremony at a Tokyo hotel on Thursday following a highly successful campaign at the Rio Games.
Decathlete and Japan’s flagbearer at the Games, Keisuke Ushiro, handed back the flag to Japanese Olympic Committee chief Tsunekazu Takeda before chef de mission Seiko Hashimoto made a speech in which she hailed the athletes’ efforts.
Japan reached double-figure gold medals (12) for the first time since the Athens Games. The country also won eight silver and 21 bronze.
“This is the result of the show of unity that Team Japan showed in the competitions,” said Hashimoto. “I want to offer my gratitude for the efforts that will lead to (the Tokyo Olympics in) 2020.”
Takeda said, “The Japanese athletes’ good showing and the sportsmanship with which they faced competition showed dynamism to the world and provided inspiration and courage.”
A total of 385 athletes and officials including delegation captain Saori Yoshida, who suffered a shock defeat in the women’s freestyle 53-kg final and settled for the silver medal, attended the ceremony.
Tamayo Marukawa, minister in charge of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics, was also in attendance.