Ja­pan eyes 30 gold haul at Tokyo 2020

Global Times - Weekend - - SPORTS -

A se­nior Ja­panese Olympic of­fi­cial has called on the host coun­try’s ath­letes to win a na­tional-record 30 gold medals at the 2020 Sum­mer Games, lo­cal me­dia re­ported Fri­day.

Ja­panese Olympic Com­mit­tee (JOC) sports com­mit­tee chair­man Ya­suhiro Ya­mashita backed home­grown com­peti­tors to more than dou­ble their haul of 12 golds at last year’s Rio Olympic Games, where Ja­pan fin­ished sixth in the medal ta­ble.

“I reckon we can aim to get 2.5 times the amount we did in Rio,” the for­mer Olympic judo cham­pion told lo­cal me­dia, point­ing to Ja­pan’s re­cent suc­cess in gymnastics, ta­ble ten­nis and bad­minton.

“That’s just my per­sonal opin­ion, not that of the tech­ni­cal com­mit­tee,” added the 60-year-old Ya­mashita.

“We will col­lect the rel­e­vant data and de­cide [the of­fi­cial tar­get] hope­fully by next sum­mer.”

Ya­mashita, who won judo gold at the 1984 Los An­ge­les Games, also raised the hope that the host na­tion’s track ath­letes could de­liver a sur­prise af­ter a Ja­panese sprinter, Yoshi­hide Kiryu, fi­nally broke the 10-sec­ond bar­rier last month af­ter years of try­ing.

Ja­pan’s pre­vi­ous best ef­fort in terms of gold medals was as host of the 1964 Tokyo Games and at the 2004 Athens Games, when they won 16.

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