August 19, 2019
Latest News

Japanese athletes gear up gold 14 months before Olympics

 The logo of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games is seen through cherry blossoms in Tokyo, Japan, April 6, 2018. EPA-EEF FILE/KIMIMASA MAYAMA

The logo of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games is seen through cherry blossoms in Tokyo, Japan, April 6, 2018. EPA-EEF FILE/KIMIMASA MAYAMA

By Nora Olivé

Tokyo, May 24 (efe-epa).- With 14 months to go before the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo, Japanese athletes are gearing up to represent their host country and win as many medals as possible.

Japanese tennis pro Naomi Osaka described what it means to represent her country at the Olympic Games on home soil, during a recent interview with the International Tennis Federation.

The world number one will be among a number of athletes who will try to achieve Japan’s objective of 30 gold medals, which the local organizing committee set when Tokyo was chosen to host the Olympics.

Japan is the cradle of sports such as judo and karate, the country has also set its sight on several other sports, including newly included ones on the Olympic program.

Tokyo last hosted the games in 1964, when Japan came third in the medal table with 16 golds, the highest tally it has ever reached.

Although the nation only won 12 golds during the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Japanese athletes also grabbed a record of 41 medals in total to bring the Asian county’s overall tally to 439 since its Olympic debut in Stockholm 1912.

Throughout Olympic history, judo has been Japan’s favorite sport, with 39 gold medals, followed by wrestling and gymnastics with 32 and 31 respectively.

Traditionally, Japanese athletes have achieved good results in these three disciplines, as well as swimming, badminton, table tennis, equestrianism, weightlifting and fencing.

Japan is expected to repeat these successes next year and several stars have been gaining victories as they tune up for the Tokyo games, including wrestler Kaori Icho, gymnast Kohei Uchimura and swimmer Kosuke Hagino.

The Olympic program, which will see the return of some sports and the debut of others, has inspired Japan to aim for victories in sports such as surfing, golf, softball and baseball.

Japanese women’s softball team is considered top in the world and has been tipped to win the Olympics following success in Beijing 2008 and this year’s edition of the Asian Cup.

The national baseball team is also ranked number one in the world, but Japan is yet to win a baseball gold medal, a feat that Cuba, the United States and South Korea have achieved.

Climbing is set to make its Olympics debut in Tokyo and Japan has several experts, including Akiyo Noguchi.

Snowboarder Ayumi Hirano is expected to take part in Tokyo 2020, when a skateboarding Olympic competition is also set to be held for the first time.

Surfer Kanoa Igarashi, who seeks to be among 20 athletes who will compete at the Olympics, said in an interview that he is looking forward to taking part in the event and will do his best to win gold.

Japanese fans will also pay attention to tennis, where Osaka and Kei Nishikori will represent the country.

Japan's women’s soccer team is also aiming for medals on home turf, having won the Asian Cup and is expected to make the semifinal of the 2019 FIFA Women's World Cup.

The Tokyo 2020 committee has said it expects Japan's success in the 2018 Asian Games, where it came second in the medal table, to continue when it hosts the Olympics. EFE

News history
Djokovic still leads ATP rankings, Bautista reaches Top-10 for 1st time

Madrid, Aug 19 (efe-epa).- Serbia tennis star Novak Djokovic - winner of 16 grand slams- maintained the No. 1 spot of the men's Association of Tennis...

Paola Espinosa, miracle worker in platform diving going for medal in Tokyo

By Gustavo Borges

Justin Thomas wins BMW Championship, climbs to No. 1 in FedEX Cup standings

Medinah, USA, Aug 18 (efe-epa).- American golfer Justin Thomas won the BMW Championship at the Medinah Country Club near Chicago on Sunday, finishing with a...

Atletico Madrid starts off La Liga season by blanking Getafe 1-0

By Iñaki Dufour

Chelsea's winless drought under Lampard goes on with 1-1 draw vs. Leicester

London, Aug 18 (efe-epa).- Frank Lampard's Chelsea on Sunday went winless for the third encounter in a row as the London side played to a 1-1 draw at home...

Ramos on same path as Casillas, Raul, Sanchis after 283 wins

Madrid, Aug 18 (efe-epa).- Real Madrid captain Sergio Ramos has achieved 283 victories with the La Liga side, equaling Paco Gento, and is en route to...

Manchester City settle for 2-2 draw against visiting Tottenham

Manchester, England, Aug 17 (efe-epa).- Manchester City stumbled at home against Tottenham here Saturday night, squandering leads on a pair of occasions...

Bale makes strong showing in Real Madrid's convincing 3-1 win over Celta Vigo

Vigo, Spain, Aug 17 (efe-epa).- Real Madrid cruised past Celta Vigo 3-1 on Saturday in their La Liga opener thanks in large part to the play of Gareth Bale,...

Mane, Firmino lead Liverpool to narrow 2-1 win over Southampton

Southampton, England, Aug 17 (efe-epa).- Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino provided the offensive firepower in Liverpool's 2-1 road victory Saturday over...

Arsenal beats Burnley 2-1 in 2nd consecutive Premier League win

London, Aug 17 (efe-epa).- Arsenal defeated Burnley 2-1 on Saturday to open the 2019-20 Premier League season with two successive wins.

Athletic upset Barcelona 1-0 in LaLiga opener

Bilbao, Spain, Aug 16 (efe-epa).- Aritz Aduriz began what he says will be his final professional season here Friday with a spectacular goal to lead Athletic...

Alibaba co-founder acquires full ownership of Brooklyn Nets, Barclays Center

New York, Aug 16 (efe-epa).- The co-founder and executive vice chairman of Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba has acquired full ownership of the Brooklyn Nets...

Real Madrid faces 1st test without Hazard

Vigo/Madrid, Aug 16 (efe-epa).- Real Madrid will take on its first test of the season without Eden Hazard of Belgium who sustained a last-minute injury that...

Vinicius, Neymar called up for Brazil’s friendlies vs Colombia, Peru

Rio de Janeiro, Aug 16 (efe-epa).- Brazil national team coach Adenor Leonardo Bacchi, best known as Tite, on Friday called up Real Madrid’s winger Vinicius...

Zidane: I count on James and Bale

Madrid, Aug 16 (efe-epa).- Real Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane on Friday said he counts on James Rodriguez of Colombia and Gareth Bale of Wales, in contrast...

Japanese soccer rises in value in Spain

Madrid, Aug 16 (efe-epa).- Japanese soccer has been thriving over the past few years, which led to an increase in the number of Japanese players in Spain,...

Leg injury postpones Hazard’s La Liga debut

Madrid, Aug 16 (efe-epa).- Belgian forward Eden Hazard, Real Madrid’s major signing for the upcoming season, is set to be sidelined during his club’s...

Manchester City ready for tough Tottenham test

London, Aug 16 (efe-epa).- Manchester City will take on Tottenham Hotspur in its first home game of the new Premier League home season on Saturday, a...

Tokyo, Aug 16 (EFE).- Andres Iniesta – the skilled midfielder who scored the decisive goal in Spain's 2010 World Cup victory and now plays in the Japanese...

A stroll through New York's iconic Madison Square Garden

By Alvaro Celorio

Barcelona coach: I'm happy with the squad I have

Barcelona, Aug 15 (efe-epa).- FC Barcelona coach Ernesto Valverde said Thursday that he is satisfied with the players he has as the team prepares for the...

Messi, Ronaldo among nominees for UEFA Player of the Year Award

Madrid, Aug 15 (efe-epa).- Argentina forward Lionel Messi, Portugal striker Cristiano Ronaldo and Dutch defender Virgil van Dijk were nominated on Thursday...

New keeper Adrian is the hero as Liverpool wins 4th Super Cup

Istanbul, Aug 15 (efe-epa).- Days after joining the club, Liverpool goalkeeper Adrian saved a Chelsea penalty here early Thursday to secure victory for the...

Kipchoge: Running sub-2-hour marathon is about making history

Patricia Martinez

I agree Welcome to news4europe.eu. We use cookies to improve your online experience. Find out more.