Commuters sit in a train carrying a poster showing the Tokyo 2020 Olympics mascot, Miraitowa, in Tokyo. File/AP
Japanese Olympic volunteer Ami Endo has dreamed for years of seeing the Games, but despite her crushing disappointment over Tokyo 2020 being postponed, she is determined to be part of next year's edition.
It's a "once-in-a-lifetime event," the 19-year-old university student told the media not long after Games were postponed by a year over the coronavirus pandemic.
Endo isn't even considering joining fellow students in getting a summer job next year, determined to volunteer for the postponed Games.
"I'll gain something that money can't buy," she said.
Across Japan, tens of thousands of volunteers, and hundreds of villages, towns and cities have registered to help or host athletes and participants at the Tokyo 2020 Games.
For many, the delay of the Games came as a personal blow, after sometimes years of preparations and dreaming.
"Ever since I was in elementary school, I'd hoped Japan would be a host," said Endo, who is studying business and public policy, and said she overcame her disappointment by thinking about the many others who were also seeing their dreams delayed.
Chizuko Yabusaki, 63, was a child when Japan last hosted the Games, and remembers watching the 1964 opening ceremony in rare colour television.
"I remember the scene vividly, and the excitement when we cheered for the marathon runners," she told AFP.
She became an Olympic volunteer hoping to use her Spanish and Portuguese skills and relive her experience as a World Cup volunteer in 2002.
"There was a sense of fun and a swell of emotion you could only feel on the ground," she said.
But she sympathises with the decision to delay, and said she would "definitely" participate next year, adding the postponement will give her more time with his grandchildren this summer.
The Abes' success gave Japan its third and fourth gold medal of the day after Yuto Horigome took skateboarding's first Olympic title and swimmer Yui Ohashi was the surprise winner of the women's 400m individual competition.
The chief of the Tokyo Olympics tried to reassure “worried” athletes on Saturday as the Games Village was hit by its first coronavirus case, six days before the pandemic-delayed event opens.
China won the mixed doubles the previous day and had hopes of pulling off a golden badminton sweep in Tokyo, after a spotty performance at the Rio Games in Brazil. In 2012, at London Games, China won all 5 badminton gold medals.
Ayesha Al Muhairi, who scored with distinction 71 days before the Games in Tokyo, emphasised that women’s sports in the UAE is on the right track and has taken steady steps to achieve aspired ambitions.
The championship will take place in Turkmenistan from October 11–17 and is organised by the UAE Embassy in Turkmenistan, featuring 105 male and female players from teams.
Khorloodoi claimed silver in the women’s 52kg category while Bayanmunkh grabbed bronze in the men’s 66kg category on the opening day of the judo competition.
Shreyas Iyer and Shubman Gill hit attacking centuries to help India thrash Australia by 99 runs in a rain-hit one-day international on Sunday to clinch the series 2-0.