Japan celebrates the Olympic vote result as thousands of Tokyo citizens break out in joy over the 2020 Games coming to their city. Finbarr Toesland reports
Tokyo was selected on this Sunday to host the 2020 Summer Olympics, becoming the only Asian city to host the Olympics twice and won the bid over Istanbul and Madrid at the International Olympic Committee’s general session.
The decision to award the Olympics to Tokyo was vital, with Tokyo beating Istanbul 60-36 in the final round of secret voting by IOC members, as Madrid was knocked out in the first round of voting. The result is positive news for Japan as it managed to triumph over concerns that there would be a danger from the Fukushima nuclear power plant disaster that has contaminated water and lies about 250km northeast of Tokyo.
“We are confident our Japanese friends will be able to provide excellent Games. They are the safe pair of hands they describe,” said IOC President Jacques Rogge. “They will provide secure Games, well organized with the welfare of the athletes in mind. I’m quite sure Tokyo 2020 will put the athletes at the center of the Games.”
Japan hopes that their winning bid will result in a tourism and business boost for the entire country, continuing the recovery from the effect of Fukushima nuclear power plant disaster that saw tourist numbers in Japan fall by more than 50% in the three months after the issues at the plant.
Visitors to the 2020 Olympic Games will be able to witness the reintroduction of wrestling to the Olympic schedule. Although it will be a part of the 2020 and 2024 Olympics the reinstatement is only temporary, as wrestling was not voted as one of the 25 ‘core sports’ by the IOC.
For wrestling to be added to the games changes had to be made, including adding additional weight classes for women and tweaking the scoring rules to make it clearer for the ordinary viewer to understand what is happening in the game.
By Finbarr Toesland