July 7 is one year until the opening of the Paris Olympics. The Japan, which won a record 26 medals at the Tokyo Games hosted by their home country, which received a lot of support, is facing a generational change of athletes and forced to change the environment in which they engage in competition, and the challenge is whether they can continue to achieve results at the Paris Games.
The opening ceremony of the Paris Olympics will be held on July 7 next year, mainly in Paris, the capital of France, and will be held for 26 days until August 8.
Due to the impact of the novel coronavirus, the Tokyo Games were postponed by one year for the first time in history, so the Paris Games, which will be held every three years, will feature 11 events, including karate, baseball and softball, and the addition of new breaking, with approximately 17,1 athletes expected to participate.
Japan is expected to win medals in judo, wrestling and gymnastics, as well as urban sports such as skateboarding and sport climbing, which attracted attention at the Tokyo Games.
In the selection of the national team for the Games, there are athletes who have already been selected for the national team in surfing and judo, and the selection of athletes will be in full swing in each sport in the future.
However, since the Tokyo Games, talented athletes have retired one after another in sports such as judo, gymnastics, and table tennis, and generational changes have progressed, forcing a major change in the environment in which athletes who have been strengthening their sports with the support of sponsors and other organizations are forced to undergo major changes.
Japan, who won a record 3 medals at the Summer Olympics, which were held on home soil for the first time in 32 years, including 329 golds, will be able to continue their achievements at next year's Paris Games.
Table tennis Harimoto Tomokazu "Every day is more important"
Tomokazu Harimoto (1), who is the first place in the men's table tennis team selection points for the Paris Olympics, commented on the one-year delay until the Games, "As was the case before the Tokyo Olympics, the remaining one year goes by quickly, so each day becomes more important. In order to do that, I think we need to overcome the rigors of training and matches. We will do our best to create more good situations."
Table tennis player Hina Hayata: "I really don't have time"
Hina Hayata, 1, who is the sole runner in first place in the women's selection points, said, "Right now, I'm just doing my best to play the match in front of me. In order to become stronger, it is very important to challenge various things, broaden your horizons and look at things from various angles. I want to get rid of stereotypes and challenge everything that I can challenge and make it my own."
Surfing MATSUDA Shino "I hope I can gain experience and catch a good wave"
Surfer Shino Matsuda (20), who was the first Japan athlete to be selected for next year's Paris Olympics, took advantage of the fact that he was offered a job offer to the national team more than a year before the Games, and trained for about three weeks in the sea of Tahiti, the venue for the Olympic Games, until the middle of this month.
Commenting on his impression of the sea in Tahiti, Matsuda said, "I couldn't find a tube with beautiful waves that I could put in for a long time, which is completely different from the sea I usually enter, but I was able to get through the best waves on the fourth day and was told, 'It's pretty good that I was able to get through on the fourth day.' I looked back.
Looking ahead to next year's Paris Olympics, he said, "When I went there, I really realized that I was going to compete here, and I gained confidence that I could compete by actually entering the sea, and I would like to go there and practice more during this one year."