Coates and Bach meet home nation's top Olympic contendors
25 November 2018
TOKYO 2020: IOC Member and AOC President John Coates AC has joined IOC President Thomas Bach in a visit to Japan’s National Training Centre in Tokyo, following an earlier visit to the Fukushima region north-east of Tokyo.
The Centre is home to more than 470 Olympic aspirants from 17 sports. Mr Coates praised the centre, predicting the facilities have put Japan in a great position to excel at their home Games.
“Japan is on target to have great success at the Olympic Games in 2020,” Mr Coates said.
“The National Training Centre reminds me of what the Australia Institute of Sport in Canberra was, and should be.”
Previously, Mr Coates joined IOC President Thomas Bach and Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on a short trip to the Fukushima region north-east of Tokyo, an area devastated by the 2011 earthquake and tsunami.
The region will host baseball and softball matches during the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games and the region will host the first leg of the Torch Relay in the run-up to the Games.
Mr Coates, who is Chair of the IOC Coordination Commission for the Tokyo Games, says the Prime Minister received an update of Japan’s preparation.
“We emphasised the need for a clean Games in 2020 and thanked Mr Abe and his government for their recently introduced legislation to strengthen anti-doping measures in Japan.”
The visit on Saturday November 24th to the Azuma baseball stadium showcased the progress of reconstruction efforts in the area.
The group also visited a badminton facility and met with local residents and athletes ahead of a week-long series of meetings in Tokyo as preparations for 2020 Olympics continue.
Prime Minister Abe told the IOC delegation that sport has played a big role in the recovery efforts in the region.
“Japan was determined to showcase progress in the recovery of the region.”
He congratulated the IOC for the “courage in deciding to have softball and baseball in Fukushima Stadium during the Olympic Games.”
Mr Bach told the Prime Minister that he was “very impressed with the great progress of the reconstruction of the area, and the mental recovery of the people in Fukushima.”
“I am happy that sport has played such an important role in psychological recovery of the people.”