LAUSANNE, Switzerland (The Japan News/ANN) - The International Olympic Committee on Friday added new mixed events to the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, including judo team and table tennis doubles.
The decision was made at an extraordinary meeting of the IOC executive board in Lausanne, Switzerland.
For the 28 sports that featured at the Rio Olympics, the number of events has been expanded to 321 for the Tokyo Games — 15 more than in 2016 — with places for up to 10,616 participating athletes. Of them, 48.8 percent will be women, the highest ratio in Olympic history.
The IOC had previously added 18 events in five new sports, including baseball and softball, specifically for the 2020 Games. This brings the grand total of events to be held at the Tokyo Olympics to 339, with as many as 11,090 athletes.
The IOC decided to replace some events in men’s sports — such as boxing — with those for women, doubling the number of mixed sports at Tokyo to 18 from Rio’s nine. The organization has demonstrated with the changes a clear stance to focus on women. It also highlighted appealing aspects for young people by including sports such as 3-on-3 basketball.
Meanwhile, as an effort to rein in expenses, the number of athletes for the 28 existing sports has been reduced by 285, compared with Rio. The newly adopted events will be held at existing facilities.
Yoshimura eager to fight
The news that table tennis mixed doubles was added to the 2020 Games delighted Maharu Yoshimura, who won the gold medal with Kasumi Ishikawa in the mixed doubles at the world championships in Germany on June 3.
Yoshimura said he heard the news from his wife on the phone on Friday night while staying at a hotel.
“It could increase the chances for Japan’s table tennis community, and myself, to win one more medal,” said the 23-year-old in Yamaguchi. “It’ll be a pleasure for me to fight [in the new event at Tokyo].”