Olympic gold medallist Koji Murofushi has been officially appointed as sports director of Tokyo 2020 as the Japanese capital prepares to host its first meeting of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) Coordination Commission.
insidethegames had revealed on Saturday (June 21) that Murofushi, the Athens 2004 hammer champion, was set to be unveiled.
“I’ve had the honour of competing in four Summer Olympic Games from Sydney 2000 to London 2012 and I know what it takes to make a great Olympic experience for athletes,” said Murofushi, who had been appointed as a member of the Tokyo 2020 Executive Board in January.
“I am delighted and flattered to have been chosen as the Tokyo 2020 sports director.”
At London 2012 the role was carried out by Debbie Jevans, a former British junior tennis champion, while at Rio 2016 it is filled by Agberto Guimarães, the 1983 Pan American 800 and 1500 metres gold medallist.
The last time Japan hosted the Olympic Games – the Winter edition – at Nagano in 1998 the director of sport was Tsunekazu Takeda, who had represented the country in show jumping at Munich 1972 and Montreal 1976.
He is now President of the Japanese Olympic Committee (JOC) and led Tokyo’s successful bid to host the 2020 Olympics and Paralympics, the first time the Games will have been staged here since 1964.
Takeda is now a leading member of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and chairman of its influential Marketing Commission.
“In 2020, we will host the entire world and I want to create an environment at the Tokyo Games that will enable athletes to compete and perform to the peak of their abilities.
“I am 100 per cent committed to making these Games the best ever.”
Murofushi is set to play a leading role tomorrow when the IOC Coordination Commission, chaired by Australia’s John Coates, begins three days of meetings here tomorrow.