POSTED: May 3rd 2009

Tokyo 2016 polls growing support

Ichiro Kono: happy with the latest polls / Tokyo 2016
Ichiro Kono: happy with the latest polls / Tokyo 2016

LAURA WALDEN / Sports Features Communications

TAMPA: Tokyo 2016 bid leaders have claimed a strong increase in public support, based on figures released by several independent polls and their own commissioned data.

The Tokyo newspaper, Yomiuri Shimbun, at the end of April ran a poll that resulted in a solid 76 percent (97m Japanese) showing public support. Its poll last month revealed that 82 percent of Japanese in their 20s support Tokyo 2016. This figure supports the IOC’s aim of attracting more young people to the Olympic movement.

Reports in the media had stated that an IOC independent poll had given Tokyo 56pc of public support. The completed IOC evaluation report will not be distributed no later than one month before the election of the host city on October 2, 2009.

Bid chairman Dr Ichiro Kono issued a clarifying statement, saying: “We respect the decision of the IOC to release the data in its report in September. But we can confirm that since the highly successful IOC evaluation commission visit last month our own polls and independent polls consistently show high rates of support."

Before the IOC evaluation visit, a Tokyo 2016 commissioned poll in January had 69pc of Tokyo citizens (23m) in favour of the bid. On the heels of the IOC visit to Tokyo, between April 16 and 19 , the bid team has commissioned fresh poll to gauge public support. Results will be issued very soon but are expected to maintain a high rate of support.

Kono added: “Whatever poll is used, we can state with certainty that over 20 million supporters of Tokyo 2016 live within a short journey of 97 percent of all proposed Olympic venues.  So we can confidently predict full stadiums for every event ensuring the stage is set for Olympic and Paralympic heroes.”

This sets the stage for high TV ratings as Japan’s prime time slot boasts a potential 3bn viewers and by the time this is expanded across the Asian continent a substantial number of viewers could be tuning in to watch the Games.

Government authorities have also stepped to the plate with a contingency fund of over $4bn and proposes a debt-free Games. Tokyo is in the 2016 bid race with Chicago, Madrid, and Rio and the vote will be held October 2 in Copenhagen at the IOC session.

The IOC evaluation commission is on its way to Madrid for the final city tour May 5-8 then the experts will begin the elaborated process of preparing the final reports on all four potential host cities.

Keywords · Tokyo 2016 · Olympic Bid · IOC

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