Tokyo looks to follow London lead after 2020 Olympic joy

07 September 2013 / 23:20

International Olympic Committee president Jacques Rogge admitted Tokyo's promise of delivering a safe and stable Games made a crucial difference in their successful bid to host the 2020 Olympics.

Tokyo were considered warm favourites though many insiders believed the momentum had been with rivals Madrid, eliminated in the first round, in recent days.

However, the Japanese capital dominated the voting, indeed they fell just six votes short of an outright majority in the first round and beat Turkish capital Istanbul 60-36 in the final ballot.

It will be the fourth time Japan has staged an Olympics - Tokyo becomes the first Asian city to host twice, 56 years after 1964, while Nagano and Sapparo staged the Winter Games in 1998 and 1972 respectively.

"Tokyo won convincingly, proving how Japan supports the Olympic movement in such a major way," said Rogge, who steps down from his role on Tuesday after 12 years in charge.

"We are confident that our Japanese friends will deliver an excellent Games.

"They had a well-constructed bid and the experience of their previous bid played a role. They described themselves as a safe pair of hands and, as a surgeon, that is something that appeals to me."

Bid chief and Japanese IOC member Tsunekazu Takede admitted Tokyo would study the blueprint of last year's successful London Olympics and Paralympics as they start their seven year journey of planning and preparation.

"London was a fantastic Games, they put athletes first, the facilities were wonderful and the volunteers were so eager to help," he said.

"People of the United Kingdom, they all fully supported the Games and we felt their passion. That is something we want to replicate."

Tokyo's presentation won widespread praise from IOC members, particularly the role of Paralympian Mami Sato and Princess Takamado, who clearly charmed the 103-strong electorate by speaking from the heart.

And Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe insisted the victory meant more than his election win last December - and claimed the decision will help the country rebound from 2011 earthquake and tsunami, which killed nearly 16,000 people and crippled the Fukushima nuclear plant.

"The joy was greater than winning my own election because I know how much this means to the Japanese people. We have hopes and dreams into the future now," he said.

"The Olympic Games of 2020 won't be just for Japan but for Asia and for the entire world. Sport has the ability to mobilise and unite people and that is the power we experienced after the earthquake and tsunami two years ago. 

"Japan needs the power of sport, the power of those dreams now. We will step up our efforts of reconstruction and make the Games a great success.

"We had fantastic strong rivals, it was a tough fight but all we could do was our best."

© Sportsbeat 2013