Home > olympic games > Mori insists Tokyo 2020 “a must for humanity” as he hails WKF ahead of karate’s Olympic debut

Mori insists Tokyo 2020 “a must for humanity” as he hails WKF ahead of karate’s Olympic debut

October 29, 2020 Leave a comment Go to comments
Tokyo 2020 President Yoshirō Mori believes Tokyo 2020 represents a "beacon of hope" ©Getty Images

Tokyo 2020 President Yoshirō Mori is “fully confident” karate will overcome the “difficulty” of the COVID-19 pandemic to make a successful Olympic debut next year.

Mori also reiterated that staging the postponed Games in the Japanese capital is a “must for humanity” and represents a “beacon of hope for all the world”.

The former Prime Minister of Japan’s comments came in a letter to the World Karate Federation (WKF), which congratulated the organisation on its 50th anniversary.

Karate was set to make its first appearance at an Olympics this year only for the global health crisis to force the Games to be postponed to 2021.

However, Mori insists the “excitement remains unabated” since August 2016 when karate was approved as one of the additional events for the Tokyo 2020 programme.

“The flame of Karate will not go out and will continue to burn in our hearts until the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games next summer,” Mori wrote.

“I am also honoured and privileged that we will host the first Olympic Karate tournament during the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at the Nippon Budokan, 50 years after the first World Karate Championships was held in 1970.”

Karate is set to make its Olympic debut at Tokyo 2020 ©Getty Images
Karate is set to make its Olympic debut at Tokyo 2020 ©Getty Images

Mori stressed the necessity of hosting the Games as organisers continue to formulate a plan to limit the spread of coronavirus during Tokyo 2020.

“I remain fully confident that the passion, hard work and dedication that everyone has put into preparing for the first Olympic karate tournament, including all karate athletes’ training and their efforts for what they have achieved so far towards participating to the Games, will overcome this difficulty,” Mori continued.

“I would like to reiterate that staging the Games next year is more than ever a must for humanity. 

“Its success will represent a beacon of hope for all the world, and show that through unity and solidarity we can overcome any challenge.”

Mori also highlighted karate’s strong roots within the Japanese culture in his letter to the WKF and called the sport’s Olympic debut a “historic moment”.

“Japan is the birthplace of karate,” added Mori.

“Joining the Olympic Games in Tokyo, along with the spread of global excellence, with strong ties to Japan and Japanese culture, will ensure a positive legacy for Japan, the Olympic Games and karate.”

The karate competitions at Tokyo 2020 are scheduled to be held at the Nippon Budokan from August 5 to 7.

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