25 Feb. 2021
Tuesday (23 February) marked 150 days to go until the official opening and opening ceremony of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, on Friday 23 July in Japan and with that, we would like to bring you the latest news on the Games.
With just six men’s and six women’s teams left to qualify for the handball competitions, the throw-off of handball at Tokyo 2020 at the Yoyogi National Stadium on Saturday 24 July, is approaching quickly.
While the Tokyo Handball Qualification 2020 will determine the last teams, with the top two teams of each tournament qualifying for the prestigious event, we look at some of the recent Tokyo 2020 news making the headlines.
New Tokyo 2020 President appointed
Following the resignation of former President Yoshiro Mori, Seiko Hashimoto was announced as the new Tokyo 2020 President last week.
The appointment is good news for the handball world as Ms Hashimoto has worked closely with the Japan Handball Association (JHA) in recent years.
She started at the JHA in 2012, using her experience and network of contacts in the sports industry as an advisor, before moving into the role of ‘Special Appointment Vice President’, which was held intermittently from 2013 to 2019. Most recently, she contributed towards JHA’s successful hosting of the 2019 IHF Women’s World Championship in Kumamoto.
Her interest in handball dates back longer though as her late brother-in-law was President of the Hokkaido Handball Association, a prefecture in the north of the country, with Sapporo as its capital.
Before her work in handball, Hashimoto who was a decorated Olympic athlete, winning a bronze medal at the Albertville 1992 Games and representing Japan at a total of seven Olympic Games (four Winter Games (speed skating), three Summer Games (cycling)).
“With five months to the Games, this role is an immense and sobering responsibility,” she said on her announcement. “Looking ahead to the summer, we must make safety the ultimate priority and do everything possible to prepare a Games where everyone may feel safe and secure.
“I will make every effort to further deepen our collaboration with the national government and the Tokyo Metropolitan Government to deliver what the people of Tokyo, Japan and the world can agree is a safe and secure Games.”
The Torch Relay – Hope Lights Our Way
On Friday (26 February), Tokyo 2020 Olympic Torch Relay Partners and individual prefectural task forces are scheduled to start announcing details of the towns and villages the Relay will pass through each day, as well as torchbearers’ names and the days on which they will run.
The COVID-19 Countermeasure guidelines have been released with the finalised route set to be published on the Tokyo 2020 website later today (25 February).
For more information about the Relay, click here.
Earlier this month, Tokyo 2020 unveiled ‘The Playbooks’, which have been developed in partnership by Tokyo 2020, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and the International Paralympic Committee (IPC).
The ‘Playbooks’ integrate input, advice and extensive work of the All Partners Task Force, which also includes the World Health Organization, Government of Japan, Tokyo Metropolitan Government, independent experts and organisations from across the world, as well as the interim report published by the Three-Party Council in December 2020.
In addition, they also draw upon the lessons learned from the successful measures being implemented in other sectors, including the successful resumption of thousands of international sports events across the world.
All of this together provides a framework of basic principles that each key stakeholder group will follow before they travel to Japan, when entering Japan, during their time at the Games and when leaving the Games, plus providing direction and set parameters that will enable people and organisations to advance their planning at this stage.
Four Playbooks have been released – for Athletes and Officials, Media, International Federations and Broadcasters – and all will be updated on several occasions ahead of the Games with details added for each subsequent edition.
For more information, visit here.
For more information about Handball at Tokyo 2020, visit here.