Tokyo target passionate finale in Olympic campaign race

Updated: Oct 01, 2009, 10:21 AM IST

Tokyo: Tokyo must communicate the city`s passion for the Olympics in the final two days of the campaign for 2016, bid chief Ichiro Kono said on Wednesday.

"We have two days to go and the most important thing left is the presentation on Friday," Kono said at a media briefing in the Danish capital on Wednesday.

"With the spirit and heartfelt soul of Japan we can communicate our passion to the IOC. That is the key to our lobbying."

Tokyo is up against Chicago, Rio de Janeiro and Madrid in a tight race that will be decided in a vote of more than 100 IOC members after the four candidate cities make final presentations on Friday.

Japan`s newly elected prime minister Yukio Hatoyama is due to fly into Copenhagen to push the Tokyo bid.

"Our mood is excellent," Kono said. "We have superb athletes here to support us and our new prime minister is coming as well. We are very confident."

Portugal`s former Olympic champion Rosa Mota joined an array of Japanese athletes on stage at the event to add her support.

Mota, who won the marathon gold medal at the Seoul Olympics in 1988, talked up Tokyo`s safety after being introduced as the surprise guest at an athletes` presentation.

"The first time I came to Tokyo to train and compete was in 1986," she said. "I was preparing for the Tokyo marathon and I took off my tracksuit and left it in the park as I went for a run. When I got back, the suit was still there. I was quite surprised."

"In Tokyo, I can walk at night and I always feel safe. You can`t say that about every city."

Bureau Report