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Disappointed Tokyo looks to 2020 Olympic bid
Sat, Oct 03, 2009
AFP

TOKYO, JAPAN - A stunned Tokyo Saturday rallied to consider another shot at hosting the Summer Olympics after being eliminated early in the race to host the event in 2016.

"It's disappointing and mortifying," Tokyo's governor Shintaro Ishihara told Japanese media in Copenhagen, where the International Olympic Committee chose Rio de Janeiro as the 2016 Games host city over Chicago, Madrid and Tokyo.

When asked whether Tokyo would now bid for the 2020 Games, Ishihara replied that "it is a question which must be positively considered in consultation with the Tokyo citizens, the Japanese people and the Japanese Olympic Committee.

"I heard everyone say Tokyo's presentation was overwhelmingly great. But it was Rio which got it. We must learn more about such dynamics. Otherwise, tough battles will continue," Ishihara said.

Japanese Olympic Committee president Tsunekazu Takeda, who is also vice president of the bid committee, said of a bid for the 2020 Games: "I don't wish to waste our bidding effort which, I hope, will blossom in the future."

Hope for another Olympic bid was also expressed in Tokyo, where around 700 people packed an auditorium at the Tokyo Metropolitan Government headquarters to watch the IOC vote live on television.

"It was really disappointing for us and for the children but this is not the end. We want to carry this on to the next chance," said Yuko Arimori, who won the Olympic women's marathon silver medal in 1992 and the bronze in 1996.

"Sometimes you lose but you come back," said former professional wrestler Heigo "Animal" Hamaguchi, whose daughter is five-time world wrestling champion and Olympic bronze medallist Kyoko, 31. "We've got 2020."

Ishihara, a novelist-turned-politician, has been the face and voice of the well-financed Tokyo bid since he launched it four years ago, saying another Summer Games in the capital would be a "catalyst for Japan's genuine revival."

Tokyo hosted Asia's first Olympics in 1964 as a national project to boost the country's reconstruction after its defeat in World War II.

It was the only city among the candidates to have previously hosted the Summer Olympics.

Odds-on favourite Chicago was defeated in the first round of voting and Tokyo went out next. Rio beat Madrid by a stunning margin of 66-32 to become the first Olympic host in South America.

Tokyo touted its bid with a "green Olympics" blueprint to cut carbon emissions from Games-related projects, facilities and operations while making best use of solar and other alternative energy sources.

It also planned to stage a highly compact and athletes-friendly Games with all venues within an eight-kilometre (five-mile) radius except for shooting and football pool matches.

Tokyo's environmental theme was backed by Japan's new Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama, who travelled to Copenhagen and addressed the IOC session.

"I called for an Olympics which puts emphasis on the environment and Tokyo's team did its best to highlight how attractive its plan is," Hatoyama said in a statement issued after he returned home Saturday.

"I feel very disappointed that the Olympics won't be held in Tokyo," he said, but congratulated Rio and the Brazilian people on their success.

The influential newspaper Asahi Shimbun said Tokyo pushed the bid "with confidence as an economic superpower" but lacked talent and human connections to "turn the good reputation of its plan into votes."


 
 
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