POSTED: August 26th 2009

Tokyo 2016 celebrates IOC centenary of judo's founding father

The iconic Budokan in the heart of Tokyo will be the home for judo at the 2016 Games / Image: Tokyo 2016
The iconic Budokan in the heart of Tokyo will be the home for judo at the 2016 Games / Image: Tokyo 2016

SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT / Sports Features Communications

ROTTERDAM: The century-long legacy of Jigoro Kano, founding father of Judo and first Asian member of the International Olympic Committee, has been underlined in Holland by Tokyo’s 2016 bid team.

A perfect stage has been provided by World Judo Rotterdam 2009, held over the next four days, and which has attracted 660 judoka representing 105 nationalities from four continents.

Japan’s Yasuhiro Yamashita lent his status as not only a 1984 Olympic gold medallist and four-times world champion but as a Tokyo ambassador to the occasion – sharing his enthusiasm for the Tokyo proposal to host what he believes would be the most compact, sustainable and athlete-focused of Games.

He also believes there is growing support for the Japanese bid among judoka and other top athletes.

One is Austria's Ludwig Paischer, a Beijing 2008 silver medallist at 60kg, who said: “I support Tokyo 2016 because it will put the athletes first, it’s a tremendous city and it would be fantastic to compete there, especially in the Budokan, the Mecca of martial arts.”

Dr Ichiro Kono, chair and ceo of the Tokyo bid, said: “We are thrilled by the growing international support for our Games plan. Elite athletes worldwide are expressing their confidence in our capacity to not only meet but exceed their needs.

“This is the perfect year for Japan’s capital to be chosen to deliver a lasting legacy for the Olympic Movement. Exactly 100 years ago we joined the Olympic Movement under the visionary guidance of Jigoro Kano who entered the IOC in 1909.”

In May, the Japan Olympic Committee founded the Kano Jigoro Memorial International Sport Institute in Tokyo to promote the values of Olympism both in Japan and across the world. The institute also helps to coordinate sport-related international aid and contributions by the Japanese Government.

The International Olympic Committee decides between the rival 2016 bids of Chicago, Madrid, Rio de Janeiro and Tokyo in Copenhagen on October 2.

Keywords · Tokyo 2016 · Olympic Games · Jigoro Kano · Ichiro Kono · judo

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