Former Olympic judo gold medalist Yasuhiro Yamashita was appointed president of the Japanese Olympic Committee on Thursday during an executive board meeting in Tokyo.

Yamashita won a gold medal in the men's judo open-weight category at the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics and nine straight national championships during his career, and has been the president of the All Japan Judo Federation since 2017. The 61-year-old from Kumamoto Prefecture served on the JOC executive board as chairman of the sports committee up until the announcement was made during a news conference following an executive board meeting on Thursday.

"I understand the weight of the responsibility I've been given and I will do everything I can to carry on what President Takeda accomplished during his time in this position," Yamashita said. "The Olympics and Paralympics are the pinnacle of sports. With less than a year, I hope we can prepare as best we can for the 2020 games."