POSTED: July 7th 2009

Tokyo 2016 spells out its 'heroes' message to African NOCs

Tokyo's bid team takes centre stage in Abuja / Tokyo2016
Tokyo's bid team takes centre stage in Abuja / Tokyo2016

SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT / Sports Features Communications

ABUJA: Tokyo’s Olympic bid team has delivered a direct address to the African legacy if the 2016 Games were to be hosted in the heart of Japan.

Delegates from the continent’s National Olympic Committees were told, at the 28th ANOCA general assembly in Abuja, Nigeria, of the value Tokyo placed on generating a 100-year international legacy for the benefit of African NOCs and athletes.

Bid leader Ichiro Kono, reiterating the Tokyo ‘heroes’ theme, assured them: “Between now and 2016, we will be setting the stage for your heroes to achieve their best in Tokyo. We will present an athlete-focused plan with optimal conditions for all your athletes to train and perform to the peak of their abilities.”

He followed up by stating that the Tokyo bid was financially rock solid and that it was “both economically sound and guaranteed at the highest levels in Japan - absolutely the right plan for these difficult economic times."

Kono said that all the land needed for the 11 new venues had already been secured to extend the facilities of which 23 out of the 34 needed were already in existence.

Hosting fund in place

Tokyo's metropolitan government had placed €4bn into an Olympic hosting reserve fund which meant that 90pc of the total cost for new venues and infrastructure was thus available already. Kono added: “We have guaranteed to build a stage fit for your heroes to inspire the world, we will not let you down.”

Further pledges of solidarity came from Tsunekazu Takeda, president of the Japanese Olympic Committee and bid vice-president. He offered financial and logistical support for NOC delegations planning trips to Tokyo in the year before the Games and the most intense help in organizing pre-Games training camps.

He added: “All NOCs will be guaranteed smooth entry into Japan with multi-entry visas for all accredited personnel. TOCOG will also provide all possible assistance in location sourcing, design and construction of NOC houses. We will offer the widest possible range of related support services.”

He promised “world-class accommodation” for members of the African Olympic and Paralympic Family members and added: “We have 45,000 existing hotel rooms for the Olympic Family with no minimum stay. NOC presidents and secretaries-general will stay at IOC hotels and all NOC sponsor rooms are at five-star hotels.”

The Tokyo team in Abuja included Yuko Arakida, an Olympic women's volleyball medallist in 1976, who highlighted the three pillars of the bid pledge: the city, the venues and the people.

Keywords · Tokyo 2016 · Olympic Games · ANOCA · Nigeria · Kono

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