Japan ecstatic at Olympic winAgence France-Presse. Tokyo/ New Age Online
Thousands of Japanese who stayed up all night to witness the Olympic vote erupted in joy on news that Tokyo will host the 2020 Games, as athletes hailed the "dream" result and TV hosts broke down in tears.
Several channels broadcast live the 5:20 am Japan time announcement from Buenos Aires that the capital would host the Summer Games for a second time, with public broadcaster NHK having begun its programming nearly seven hours before the decision was revealed.
"It is like a dream that Tokyo will host the Olympics," four time Olympic swimming champion Kosuke Kitajima told NHK. "I hope the event will give children a chance to dream."
As Olympic chief Jacques Rogge read the IOC decision, cheers and shouts rang out. Groups of ecstatic Japanese hugged each other and punched the air.
TV hosts and their guests were temporarily speechless and several were in tears, with some making reference to people living in the area affected by the earthquake-tsunami and the nuclear emergency it caused in March 2011.
At the Tokyo Chamber of Commerce and Industry, where around 1,200 people had gathered to watch live-streaming of the announcement in Buenos Aires, people held V signs aloft and cheerleaders hugged each other.
At the MC's prompting, the crowd shouted "Banzai!" (hurrah!) three times and said "arigato" (thank you) to Buenos Aires.
At Komozawa Olympic Park in the south of Tokyo, which served as a venue for several sports at the 1964 Tokyo Olympics, golden tinsel rained down at the moment of decision.
A boisterous crowd held signs and chanted "Tokyo, Tokyo, Tokyo, Tokyo," as an interviewer fought to be heard above the din.
When he finally got his question out -- "What do you think of the news?" -- one man shouted: "It's the best!" before being drowned out by chanting and cheering.
Three-time Olympic women's 55kg wrestling champion Saori Yoshida, whose sport may be scrapped from the 2020 Games said she had been brought to tears by the news of Tokyo's victory.
"I am really pleased that Japan pulled together," she told reporters.
Tadashi Okamura, chairman of the Japan Chamber of Commerce and Industry, who was in the crowd said he had not stopped crying with joy.
"We wanted the Games so much," he said.
As a sticky, rain-threatening day began in earnest, merchants got in on the act, with shopping malls hoisting signs in celebration, and one bar owner offering free beer to every customer.
Newspapers rushed out special editions featuring colour photographs of the moment Rogge revealed the card with the word "Tokyo" printed on it.
The mood was much more sober in Madrid, when it was eliminated at the first stage of the vote.
Supporters who had gathered in the city let go of the red balloons they had been hopefully clutching and wound their way home.
"I am very disappointed," said Jorge Linhares, 41, a minister who had come to witness the decision. "Everyone was very hopeful and I am surprised," he added. "I thought we would go to the second round and win."
Tokyo's victory was also a huge disappointment to the hundreds of Turks who had gathered in front of the Hagia Sophia in Istanbul. Within minutes of the announcement, the podium and the forum were almost deserted.
But the city's governor, Huseyin Avni Mutlu, was magnanimous.
"Today we showed that we were a serious candidate, so I do not believe that we have lost," he said. "We are a people who love competition, we will continue to try."
Istanbul bid volunteer Basak Demirci said Turkey would not be bowed by the loss.
"Turkey is the best Muslim country in the world and if we had won the Games, we could have set an example to the Muslim world," she told AFP. "One day we will win."
comments powered by Disqus
Election Commissioner Abu Hafiz Sunday said holding parliamentary elections keeping the parliament in place would be ‘tough’ for them. Full story
The Dhaka Metropolitan session Judge’s Court framed charges in two cases against four bloggers for posting alleged derogatory remarks on Islam and Prophet Mohammad (SM) on the internet... Full story
A writ petition filed Sunday sought directives for the government to take necessary steps to pass a new ‘Formalin Control Act 2013’ with a provision for capital punishment for food and drinks adulterators. Full story
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina Sunday stressed the need for constructing buildings suitable for weather and environment by maintaining the building code. Full story
Police arrested two people as Islami Chhatra Shibir, the Jamaat-e-Islami backed student organisation, tried to bring out a procession in the capital's Mohakhali area Sunday morning, demanding release of their detained leaders. Full story
The 20th prosecution witness against Jamaat chief Motiur Rahman Nizami, Tahurul Alam Mollah, on Sunday testified that his father was chopped to death in Ishwardi area in the presence of Nizami on April 13, 1971. Full story
Border Guard Battalion in separate drives detained twenty nine people while they were being trafficked to India early Sunday, BGB officials said. Full story
Charges against Limon in a case lodged by Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) is yet to be withdrawn as the hearing was deferred for the third time Sunday. Full story
A dawn to dusk shut down enforced by people from differen walks of life in two upazilas of Lakshmipur district is going on amid roads blocks and large protests... Full story
China's trade performance was better than expected in August, as stronger exports to recovering overseas economies caused the trade surplus to widen to $28.5 billion, customs figures showed Sunday. Full story
The death toll in clashes between two communities in western Uttar Pradesh's Muzaffarnagar district has risen to twelve... Full story
President Barack Obama urged Americans on Saturday to back him in launching an attack on Syria, as diplomatic pressure grew on the United States to wait for a U.N. report expected in a week's time before beginning military action... Full story