Tokyo odds-on favourites to win 2020 Olympic race, claim bookmakers

Monday, 07 January 2013
By Duncan Mackay at the International Olympic Committee in Lausanne

Tokyo 2020 hand over bid to IOC Lausanne January 7 2013January 7 - Tokyo 2020 would host an Olympics and Paralympics that the world would "marvel at", claimed chief executive Masato Mizuno as they delivered its Candidature file here today.

Mizuno's optimism seemed to be shared by bookmakers, who installed the Japanese capital as the odds-on favourites after they had lodged their master plan with the International Olympic Committee (IOC). 

"It's a superb, compact plan that utilizes civic energy and operational know-how to produce an Olympic Games the world will marvel at," said Mizuno.

Mizuno was supported by a delegation which also included Homare Sawa, the captain of Japan's World Cup winning women's football team in 2011, and Paralympic swimmer Takayuki Suzuki, the SB 50 metres backstroke gold medallist from Beijing 2008.

Sawa also won a silver medal at London 2012 and claimed that experience had help ignite her enthusiasm for the Olympics returning to Tokyo for the first time since 1964.

"I want to feel that deeply moving spirit from the London Games once again in Tokyo," Sawa said.

"I want to do all I can."

Tokyo 2020 present bid book to IOC January 2013Yasuhiro Nakamori, Masato Mizuno, Homare Sawa, Takayuki Suzuki and Katsura Enyo pose outside the IOC in Lausanne after handing in their Candidature file

Mizuno and the athlete ambassadors were joined by Katsura Enyo, the senior director for planning for sports at Tokyo 2020, and Yasuhiro Nakamori, an Executive Board member of the bid. 

Full details of their plans are due to be announced at a press conference in Tokyo tomorrow and then at an international event in London on Thursday (January 10). 

"With tremendous support from people in Tokyo and across Japan, we have celebrated a memorable milestone today with the submission of our Candidature file," said Tsunekazu Takeda, the President of Tokyo 2020 and Japanese Olympic Committee, who will present their plans tomorrow.

"Based on lessons from our bid for the 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games, we have retained the best of that bid plan while adding important new strengths.

"Now that our Candidature file is complete, Tokyo is one step closer to implementing an innovative and inspiring Games plan.

"The Games in 2020 in Tokyo will offer athletes, spectators and Olympic and Paralympic family members a true once-in-a-lifetime experience."

Takeda's belief that the Games could be heading back to Japan was echoed by British bookmaker William Hill, who are offering odds of 4/6 that Tokyo will win, with rivals Istanbul 5/2 and Madrid 3/1. 

If successful at the IOC Session in Buenos Aires on September 7, it would be the third time Tokyo had been awarded the Olympics.

They won their first bid for the 1940 Games, which were later taken away from them because of the Second Sino-Japanese War and given to Helsinki, only to be subsequently cancelled because of World War Two.

"Tokyo may already have been awarded two Games but so had London and the third time they struck gold by hosting the best ever," said William Hill spokesman Joe Crilly.

"Tokyo could well follow suit."

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