Olympic Medallists Join Wave of Support for Tokyo 2016 at Yonex Open Japan 2008

Tokyo,(RUSHPRNEWS) 09/23/2008--8 ¨C Two more Olympians from outside Japan today joined the growing international chorus of support for the Tokyo 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games Bid, as the Yonex Open Japan 2008, part of the Badminton World Federation¡¯s Super Series, came to a close.

Yonex Open Japan 2008 competitors and Olympians, Candra Wijaya ¨C Indonesian gold medalist of the badminton men¡¯s doubles team at the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games ¨C and Tony Gunawan ¨C former Olympic gold medalist and world champion for Indonesia (now a representative for the United States), are both keen supporters of the Tokyo 2016 Bid.

Candra Wijaya said:
¡°I was delighted when Tokyo was selected as a Candidate City for the 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games. Japan is renowned for its world-class facilities and organisation skills and I am lucky to have been able to participate in one of Japan¡¯s great sporting competitions and experience the country’s hospitality at first hand. Tokyo is a wonderful city and I’m very excited about the prospect of being a part of the Games here in 2016 and I urge people across the world to lend their support to Tokyo 2016.

Tony Gunawan said:
¡°I love Japan. I love the Japanese food, the atmosphere¡ everything! I would be absolutely ecstatic if Tokyo hosted the Olympic Games and would relish the opportunity to participate as a coach or even be there as a spectator. The badminton courts are great and the environment is fantastic.¡±
Hosted in the Tokyo Metropolitan Gymnasium ¨C built for the legendary 1964 Tokyo Olympic Games and one of the proposed venues for the 2016 Games ¨C the successful Yonex Open Japan gave the world the opportunity to see the existing first-class sporting facilities in the heart of Japan’s vibrant capital city.

The gymnasium is located in the Heritage Zone of Tokyo¡¯s Olympic Park¡¯ ¨C one of the proposed venue zones of the Tokyo 2016 Games. Tokyo 2016 will be the most compact Games ever delivered, integrating competition into the of access, efficiency and convenience will be guaranteed for athletes and spectators alike.


Dr Ichiro Kono, Chairman and CEO of Tokyo 2016, said:

Tony Gunawan (left) and Candra Wijaya
¡°It is always an honour to host some of the world¡¯s top sports champions and we are very grateful for their support. We are proud to have some of the best sporting facilities in the world and as a nation of passionate sports fans, we are always delighted to host these sorts of competitions which also give us further valuable experience as we bid to bring the greatest global sporting event to Tokyo in 2016.¡±

The Yonex Open Japan 2008 which ran from 16 to 21 September attracted approximately 170 participants from across the world who took part in the badminton championship.

For further information, please contact:

Mihoko Nakagawa (Ms), Director, International Communications, Tokyo 2016

+81-3-5320-2480, mihoko.nakagawa@tokyo2016.or.jp

Masa Takaya (Mr), Manager, International Communications, Tokyo 2016

+81-3-5320-2480, masanori.takaya@tokyo2016.or.jp


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