POSTED: October 1st 2012

Tokyo 2020: 2012 ITU World Triathlon Yokohama gave the bid a boost this weekend

Para-triathlete Mami Sato crosses the finish line / Tokyo 2020 / Shugo Takemi
Para-triathlete Mami Sato crosses the finish line / Tokyo 2020 / Shugo Takemi

The men's competition taking off / Tokyo 2020 / Shugo Takemi
The men's competition taking off / Tokyo 2020 / Shugo Takemi

LAURA WALDEN / Sports Features Communications

October 1 – This weekend the 2012 ITU World Triathlon Yokohama took place in the Tokyo Bay area gathering 1,300 triathletes and 16 para-triathletes to participate in the sports event attracting large crowds to cheer on the participants. The event wound up with triumphs by Portugal's Joao Silva and Sweden's Lisa Norden, and also included competitions by age group, relay, and a Para Triathlon on Sunday.

Yokohoma, in the Tokyo Bay area, is just under a half an hour train ride from Tokyo and is featured in the bid proposal as the site for football matches in the 2020 bid plan.

Japan once again was able to showcase its organizational abilities and passion to bring the summer 2020 Olympic Games back to the city after a 56 year absence.

Athletes from 19 countries took part in the events including London 2012 champions Spanish silver men’s medallist Javier Gomez, ladies silver medallist Lisa Norden from Sweden, and bronze medallist Erin Densham from Australia.

Tsunekazu Takeda, IOC member and head of the bid and the Japanese Olympic Committee (JOC), said, "This was a great sport weekend for the city of Yokohama, as well as for Japan.

“I am proud that a Japanese city was chosen to host one of the ITU World Triathlon Series.

“The course, which passed through a number of Yokohama's many historical waterfront sites, was lined with hundreds thousands of enthusiastic spectators.

“The overall organisation was seamless, showing once again the ability of the Japanese to host highly professional, first-rate sporting events."

Spectators and athletes alike enjoyed the competitions and the smooth organization. Laurent Vidal, France’s top triathlete, commented, "Organisation of the competition was perfect. We know that in Japan there is never any trouble. Plenty of volunteers were everywhere to check the course road."

Masuro Miyakawa, 35, was one of many spectators who came out to cheer on the home team and said, "I came from Tokyo with my friends. Many people came today [Saturday] to see the race. I really enjoyed myself as we supported all the athletes. I definitely will come again next year."

Tokyo is bidding against Istanbul and Madrid to host the 2002 summer Games. The final decision will be voted in less than a year on September 7, 2013 at the IOC session in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

Keywords · Tokyo 2020 · Olympic bidding · triathlon

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