TOKYO ( Associated Press) – The $1.4 billion Tokyo National Stadium, built by the Japanese government for last year’s Olympics, is being touted as a site for the world championships of track and field.
An inspection team from World Athletics – the sport’s governing body – met with Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike on Wednesday and was to visit the stadium on Thursday.
Eugene, Oregon is the venue in July for the next world championships, which was postponed to 2021 to make way for the Olympics. Budapest, Hungary, is scheduled for 2023.
The locations for 2025 and 2027 are undecided with Tokyo, Nairobi, Kenya and Australia expressing interest.
Tokyo should be considered the favourite.
World athletics chief Sebastian Coe said in Japan last year that he hoped to bring the championship to the city. Koe is not known to be in Tokyo this time. Many of World Athletics’ sponsorship deals are brokered through Dentsu Inc., the giant Japanese advertising and public relations company.
Three of the top four sponsors of World Athletics are Japan-based companies: athletic apparel maker Asics, watch maker Seiko, and Japanese electronics company TDK. The other is Qatar National Bank.
Dentsu was the main driver in lining up more than $3 billion in local sponsorship for the Tokyo Olympics and is a powerful player in Japanese business, politics and media. Most of Dentsu’s dominance is in handling sports marketing and broadcast rights issues.
Tokyo held the World Championships in 1991 and Osaka was the venue in 2007.
Coe, a two-time Olympic 1,500m gold medalist and former member of the British Parliament, is a powerful athlete in his own right and is seen as a possible successor to International Olympic Committee president Thomas Bach. Bach’s term ends in 2025.
The Japanese city of Sapporo is also one of the favorites to compete in the 2030 Winter Olympics. It competes with Salt Lake City and Vancouver.
The IOC is expected to name the Winter Olympics venue during its May 2023 meetings in Mumbai, India. It could also create a double award and name a 2034 host city.
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