Tokyo 2020 Celebrates with Japan Swimming Team at 2013 FINA World Championships

August 5, 2013

All 31 members of the Japan Swimming Team gathered to celebrate and express their unanimous support for Tokyo2020’s athlete-focused Games Bid after concluding 16 days of competition in the 15th FINA World Championships.

Taking home Swimming medals in Men’s 400m Individual Medley, Men’s 400m Freestyle, Men’s 200m Medley, Women’s 50m Backstroke, Women’s 100m Backstroke, and the Men’s 400m Medley Relay, the 15 men and 16 women celebrated strong performances across all of the events in which they participated. During the Championships in Barcelona, a Tokyo 2020 delegation was on-site to support the Japan Swimming Team, and to highlight the Bid’s three key strengths: Delivery, Celebration, and Innovation.

Japan’s Daiya Seto claimed an emphatic victory in the Men’s 400m Individual Medley. With a time of 4:08.69, the 19-year old Seto became the first winner of a medley world championship gold medal from Japan. The country is also celebrating medals from 18 year-old Kosuke Hagino, who earned silver medals in both the 200m Individual Medley and 400m Freestyle. In the latter, Hagino clocked a new Japanese record of 3:44.82, and also became the first Japanese athlete in 53 years to win a medal in this event. Aya Terakawa took the bronze in the Women’s 50m and 100m Backstroke.

“My dream is for Tokyo to be the host of the Olympic and Paralympic Games in 2020, for the benefit of the city and also for the sake of international sport,” said Hagino, who won bronze in the 400m individual medley during London 2012.

“I love to swim, and sport has changed my life. There is a real passion for sport among Japanese people, and I think this makes Tokyo the best place for the Games seven years from now. We will showcase the power of sport, and that will be inspiring for youth all over the world,” he added.

Tokyo 2020’s plan proposes to renew and reinforce the Olympic Values for a new generation by offering the best stage for the world’s greatest sport celebration. The city’s innovative Games plan includes a new state-of-the-art Olympic Aquatics Centre. This waterfront venue will have a view on the Tokyo Bay, and will be less than 5 kilometres from the Olympic Village.
The Aquatics Centre will hold an impressive 20,000 spectators –  the largest capacity for such a venue in recent Olympic Games. Such a well-designed and centrally-located venue will create a celebratory atmosphere during the Games, which will spur elite athletes on to incredible Olympic and Paralympic performances. The Water polo arena will be a temporary venue with a capacity of 6,500 and will be located right next to the Aquatics Centre. Both venues are just a 10 minute trip from the Olympic Village.

All of Tokyo’s aquatics venues are fully in accordance with advice received from FINA.   “FINA and Japan have enjoyed a long and fruitful relationship,” said Tsunekazu Takeda, IOC Member and President of both Tokyo 2020 and the Japanese Olympic Committee (JOC).

“I would like to congratulate FINA, under the strong leadership of Dr. Julio C. Maglione, the local organising committee, and the many additional organisations involved for this successful Championships. It is sure to be a highly-memorable event, thanks to so many strong performances by so many strong athletes,” Takeda added. “Japan’s team performed very well here, and our supporters who travelled to Barcelona to cheer on the team are evidence of the passion for sport that Japan exhibits on a daily basis. And even at the corporate level this passion for sport is clear: two of FINA’s seven official partners are Japanese companies.”

“Across Japan, from all levels, the Tokyo 2020 Bid is well-supported. We have full government backing, support from the business community and from individuals across the country, and we are looking forward to having the chance to host the Olympic and Paralympic Games in 2020,” Takeda said.