Patrick Bower said lower costs contributed to the decision to select Ōita for their Tokyo 2020 pre-Games training camp ©FASANOC

Patrick Bower, Fiji’s Chef de Mission for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, has claimed their decision to hold a pre-Games training camp in Ōita was partly due to the lower costs than other contenders.

Fiji Association of Sports and National Olympic Committee (FASANOC) announced the decision to hold the training camp in Oita City earlier this month.

Officials from FASANOC signed an agreement with the City of Ōita and the Ōita Prefecture to confirm the deal.

Akita, Saga and Fukuoka had also made offers to host the Fijian team before the Olympics.

Bower admitted that cost had been a key factor considered, which contributed to FASANOC opting for Ōita.

"This cost we would otherwise be unable to afford and thus not have the best possible approach to the Games," said Bower.

"It is also an opportunity to participate in pre-Games competition and also to focus on what Team Fiji would like to achieve without too many distractions.

"The facilities in Ōita are also very suitable for the purpose of preparing our athletes and coaches for the Olympics.

"Team Fiji will benefit greatly from the available knowledge and calibre of sports personnel available in the city of Ōita for the sports that Fiji will be participating in Tokyo."

Fiji will be among the favourites for men's rugby sevens gold as they aim to defend their title ©Getty Images
Fiji will be among the favourites for men's rugby sevens gold as they aim to defend their title ©Getty Images

FASANOC revealed the agreement covers a pre-Games training camp and formalised the exchange of information between the organisation and the city.

The agreement also covers exchanges with organisations and the local area in Ōita, while the city will accommodate Fiji prior to the Games.

FASANOC hope the camp will enable athletes to acclimatise before the Games, with Ōita located just 80 kilometres from Tokyo.

Fiji’s Ambassador to Japan Isikeli Mataitoga claimed Ōita was chosen because of its historic ties to the Pacific nation.

FASANOC say reciprocal visits and exchanges have taken place between Fiji and Ōita in recent years, with the hope the agreement will provide a further boost in areas such as business and tourism.

Currently Fiji’s men’s rugby sevens team are the country’s sole qualifiers for Tokyo 2020, where they will hope to defend the Olympic title they won at Rio 2016. 

FASANOC are hopeful athletes will also qualify in athletics, archery, judo, women’s rugby sevens, shooting, table tennis and swimming.