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Daily Archives: April 17, 2009

Swimming: Kaneto wins at Japan championships

Rie Kaneto beat Nanaka Tamura to win the women's 200-metre breaststroke title, setting a new national record at the Japanese swimming championships yesterday at Hamamatsu.
Tamura notched a record time of two minutes 23.29 seconds in the morning heat but Kaneto bettered it to clock 2:22.33 in the final.
The 2007 champion Tamura had to be satisfied with the runners-up place in 2:23.12, followed by Hitomi Nose in 2:24.79.
A total of four new national records were set on the first day of the four-day event, which is the qualifying competition for the world championships in Rome from July 17 to August 2.
Takuro Fujii set a new mark of 48.73 to win the men's 100m freestyle, while Ryo Takayasu swam 23.45 for his fourth straight victory in the men's 50m butterfly.
In other races, Maiko Fujino won her fifth title in the women's 400m individual medley in 4:40.47, while Yuka Kato took her third victory in the women's 50m butterfly in 26.47.
Natsumi Iwashita won the women's 400m freestyle in 4:11.60 and Yuta Suenaga took the men's 200m breaststroke in 2:08.77.
Two-time Olympic breaststroke gold medallist Kosuke Kitajima, who has announced he will not compete in the world championships, did not take part in the competition.

Olympics: Japan’s PM pledges support for Tokyo’s 2016 bid

Japanese Prime Minister Taro Aso, addressing a delegation from the International Olympics Committee (IOC), yesterday pledged his country's full support for Tokyo's bid to host the 2016 Games.
"We will ensure that whatever needs to be done, will be done," he told an IOC delegation on a four-day visit to evaluate Tokyo's bid to host the greenest and most compact Games.
"Whatever needs to be built, will be built. Whatever needs to be financed, will be financed," Aso told the IOC evaluation commission.
"That is our promise. Now, and in the years leading up to 2016," said Aso, a former Olympic shooter, speaking in English.
"Tokyo has an excellent urban infrastructure with world's best transportation networks and accommodation, and it is one of the world's most advanced cities in terms of sports, environment, and public safety," he said.
In a closed door presentation, Tokyo's governor Shintaro Ishihara assured the panel Tokyo had its own "robust financing" and had set aside 3.7 billion dollars as deposits for the Games, according to Tokyo bid committee spokesman Yosuke Fujiwara.
"Governor Ishihara underlined the importance of the environment and how it is related to the Games," Fujiwara said. "He said we have reached the point of no return for the environment."
Tokyo plans to build a 100,000-seat waterfront main stadium with a canopy of solar power cells as well as equestrian, rowing and cycling venues on a forested, landfill islet.
About 95 percent of proposed Olympic venues will be located less than eight kilometres (five miles) from the main stadium. Some 70 percent of the venues will be within a 10-minute ride of the athletes' village.
Of the 34 venues for sporting events 23 already exist, of which eight will require refurbishment.
Earlier this month, the 13-member IOC evaluation commission visited Chicago, the only one of the four candidate cities which has not received financial guarantees from central government.
The commission, led by IOC executive board member and Olympic gold medallist Nawal El Moutawakel, will visit the other two bidding cities, Rio de Janeiro and Madrid, in the coming weeks.
It will then draw up a technical report to be considered by around 100 IOC members who will choose the 2016 host on October 2.
Tokyo is the only one of the four candidates to have previously hosted the Summer Olympics, in 1964.
The 68-year-old Aso also reminded the IOC delegation that he took part in the Montreal Games in 1976, as a clay-pigeon shooter, which he described as "a wonderful and unforgettable" experience.
"The next few days will be a major challenge for us, but the entire Tokyo 2016 bid team is confident and looking forward to the challenge," Aso said.
The morning session with the IOC task force was devoted to such themes as the Tokyo bid's vision, overall concept and venues.
"The questions were considerably wide-ranging," a spokesman for the IOC delegation said. "The answers were well-prepared and responded to what the IOC wanted to know."
The IOC team will tour planned and existing Olympic venues today and have two more days of briefings.