• Kyodo


Japan’s sports governing bodies visited planned venue sites for the 2020 Olympics and Paralympics on Monday, with some calling for optimizing home advantages for the host country’s athletes.

In the first such inspection to check the state of preparations for the sporting event, representatives of the Japanese Olympic Committee and 34 national sports organizations, guided by games organizers, toured locations such as the place where the athletes village is scheduled to be built.

“The success of the games depends on how the locational advantages of Japanese athletes can be maximized,” said Yasuhiro Yamashita, a judo gold medalist at the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics who serves as vice president of the All Japan Judo Federation.

Yamashita, who is also a JOC board member, asked for direct transportation services between the Ajinomoto National Training Center in Tokyo’s Kita Ward and competition venues, as many sports bodies will use the center as a training base.

Kumi Nakada, coach of the Japanese women’s volleyball team, asked for arrangements that would enable athletes of “various sports to give their best performance.”

The 2020 Games organizers have also conducted similar events for national Olympic committees from overseas.

“Since last year, various countries have eagerly visited to draw up their training strategies,” said Toshiaki Murasato, head of the organizing committee’s international bureau. “We will share basic information on the athletes village, accommodation and transportation, and I hope we can utilize home-turf advantages.”

Toru Kobayashi, a committee member in charge of coordinating with foreign delegations, said he will work on seeing what the athletes’ needs are and make preparations for “the best stage.”

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