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One of the key architects of Britain’s recent Olympic success has urged Japan’s athletes to harness the “hugely powerful effect” of performing in front of their home crowd at the Tokyo Games next year.

Liz Nicholl, who as head of UK Sport drove Team GB from 36th in the medal table in 1996 to second in 2016, said hosting the 2012 Games was the seminal moment in Britain’s resurgence as an Olympic force.

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