ANOC secretary general Gunilla Lindberg met with Kosovo Olympic Committee President Ismet Krasniqi and his adviser Besim Aliti ©Kosovo Olympic Committee

Gunilla Lindberg, the secretary general of the Association of National Olympic Committees (ANOC), has used the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games as an opportunity to meet with several National Olympic Committees (NOCs) this week.

Last weekend saw her host Ismet Krasniqi, the newly elected President of the Kosovo Olympic Committee, at ANOC’s office for Tokyo 2020.

Krasniqi’s predecessor Besim Hasani had served as the Kosovo Olympic Committee’s President since 1996 but was beaten in his re-election bid back in March.

The meeting with Lindberg featured discussions about the role of ANOC and how it can support and collaborate with the Kosovo Olympic Committee.

Kosovo made its first Olympic Games appearance at Rio de Janeiro in 2016.

Majlinda Kelmendi won gold at Rio in judo in the women’s under-52 kilograms category, and Kosovo’s judoka have doubled that tally in the Japanese capital courtesy of Distria Krasniqi in the women’s under-48kg and Nora Gjakova in the women’s under-57kg.

Lindberg also welcomed South Sudan’s NOC on the same day (Saturday July 24), with the African country represented by President Eng. Juma Stephen Lugga Lemi and secretary general Tong Chor Malek Deran.

Their discussions centred on how ANOC could assist the NOC’s sports development plans in light of the challenges it faces.

South Sudan also featured for the first time at Rio 2016, where it sent three athletes.

It has sent two athletes to compete in the track in Tokyo and is still seeking its first Olympic medal.

Kosovo has won two golds in judo at Tokyo 2020, and its NOC met with Lindberg last weekend ©Kosovo Olympic Committee
Kosovo has won two golds in judo at Tokyo 2020, and its NOC met with Lindberg last weekend ©Kosovo Olympic Committee

A visit to the beach volleyball competition on Sunday (July 25) saw the Swedish ANOC secretary general take the chance to meet with the NOCs of Qatar and France.

Cherif Younousse and Ahmed Tijan ensured Qatar got off to a winning start against Switzerland in the men’s beach volleyball preliminary round pool B, and Lindberg met with President HE Sheikh Joaan Bin Hamad Al-Thani and secretary general Jassim Rashid Al-Buenain from the Qatar Olympic Committee.

Qatar claimed one silver medal in the men’s high jump at Rio 2016 but is still looking to get off the mark this summer.

After the event, Lindberg was received by the French National Olympic and Sports Committee (CNOSF) secretary general Didier Seminet at their Hospitality House in the Japanese capital to explore future avenues for cooperation.

France is currently ninth in the medal table, with three golds included among their 11 medals.

Lindberg congratulated the Saudi Arabian Olympic Committee and its President HRH Prince Abdulaziz Bin Turki Al Faisal Al Saud on being made hosts for the 2034 Asian Games on Monday (July 26).

The progress of the Saudi team at Tokyo 2020 -- and sport in general in the country -- was also on the agenda, as well ANOC’s plans moving forward.

Saudi Arabia have not won an Olympic medal since London 2012.