POSTED: September 1st 2008

Tokyo thrills to Exchange Games

Modern Tokyo - with Olympic aspirations
Modern Tokyo - with Olympic aspirations

Special Correspondent / Sports Features Communications

TOKYO: Junior athletes from more than 15 Asian cities have exemplified in Tokyo the spirit which the city wants to project in its bid to secure the 2016 Olympic Games.

The Asia Junior Sport Exchange Games brought more than 200 aspiring athletes to compete in the Tokyo 2016-supported event, which included badminton and judo for boys and girls, international training camps in the two sports and a cultural exchange with city schools.

Aim of the event was to foster the young people’s technical and mental development, while encouraging friendship among different nationalities, in the spirit of the Olympic Movement – themes of Tokyo's bid to host a compact Olympic and Paralympic Games.

Leaders of the Tokyo bid want to show the city can provide global solutions to meet some of the the century's most challenging issues – such as ageing populations, the need for urban regeneration and a lack of sports involvement among young people.

Dr Ichiro Kono, Chairman and CEO of Tokyo 2016, said: “The Asia Junior Games have united Tokyo and other major Asian cities through sport and serve to nurture the next generation of sports stars. We offer unequivocal support for these efforts as part of our 'Uniting Our Worlds' vision.

“We want to help connect people from different walks of life, create communities, build the ties to the past that inspire the future, and inspire a shared passion for sport that unites us all.

“The opportunity to host the Olympic and Paralympic Games in 2016 coincides perfectly with the Tokyo Metropolitan Government's 10-year master plan which will be the greatest urban and environmental transformation the world has ever seen."

The Junior Games also involved participants from Bangkok, Delhi, Hanoi, Jakarta, Kuala Lumpur, Manila, Seoul, Singapore, Taipei, Ulan Bator, Hongkong, Macao, Astana and Vientiane.

Keywords · Tokyo · Olympic Games · Junior Sport Exchange Games · Ichiro Kono

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