Tokyo gets 2020 Games
Cheers and shouts of “Banzai!” echoed across Tokyo shortly after sunrise as thousands of people started celebrating the city’s successful bid to host the 2020 Summer Olympics, beating rivals Istanbul, Turkey, and Madrid, Spain, despite concerns about a nuclear plant leaking radioactive water.
A slight favorite ahead of the International Olympic Committee’s vote in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Japan’s largest city defeated Istanbul 60-36 in the final round Saturday. Madrid was eliminated in the first round.
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More than 1,200 dignitaries and Olympic athletes crammed into a convention hall in downtown Tokyo at 5 a.m. local time Sunday to usher in the start of the buildup for the Tokyo 2020 Games.
Shouts of “Banzai” — a Japanese celebratory expression after big victories — filled the hall when the winning bid was confirmed.
“This is a credit to the efforts of the entire nation,” said bid ambassador Saori Yoshida, a three-time gold medalist in women’s wrestling. “The chance to see the highest level of sport live is a great chance for everyone and, as an Olympic athlete, I’m thrilled.”
Tokyo, which promoted its bid as the reliable choice at a time of global political and economic uncertainty, had been on the defensive in the final days of the campaign because of mounting concerns over the leak of radioactive water from the tsunami-crippled Fukushima nuclear plant.
In the final presentation before the vote, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe gave the IOC assurances the Fukushima leak was not a threat to Tokyo and took personal responsibility for keeping the Games safe.
After the final vote, Abe said the victory made him more emotional than his own election as prime minister, saying it had greater significance for the Japanese people.
“IOC members gave a great opportunity to us all,” Abe said. “It means we will have hopes and dreams for the future.”
Tokyo previously hosted the Olympics in 1964.
Langer leads by 3
German Bernhard Langer shot a 5-under-par 67 in windy and rainy conditions to open a three-stroke lead in the 50-and-older Champions Tour’s Montreal Championship in Sainte-Julie, Quebec.
Langer was at 6-under 138 after two rounds.
Kenny Perry (71) was among five players tied for second place.
“I hit a lot of fairways, which helps me control my distance with my irons,” Langer said. “It’s a lot easier from the fairway than from the rough. I putted pretty nicely, too. I had a lot of speed on my putts, gave myself a lot of chances with the putts.
“I was a bit unlucky on some occasions but overall I was very pleased.”
Kirk Triplett (67), a graduate of Pullman High, was tied for 17th place at even par. Rick Fehr (77) of Seattle was tied for 75th at 11 over.
U.S. team has fast start
NCAA champion Max Homa of California beat Englishman Max Orrin 5 and 3 and the United States won the first six singles matches in the Walker Cup to take an 8-4 lead over Britain and Ireland at National Golf Links of America in Southampton, N.Y.
The biennial amateur event, first played in 1922 at National Golf Links, will end Sunday.
The United States leads the series 34-8-1.
Indiana makes playoffs
Tamika Catchings scored 15 points to help defending champion Indiana beat visiting Connecticut 69-60, clinching a berth in the playoffs for the ninth year in a row.
Catchings added six rebounds and four steals for the Fever, which is coached by ex-Storm coach Lin Dunn.
Kelsey Griffin had 14 points and seven rebounds for the Sun, which lost for the eighth time in its last nine games.
The top four teams in each conference advance to the playoffs.
Chicago (21-9) has clinched first place in the Eastern Conference and Atlanta (17-13) is second. Indiana (15-16) is in third place in the East.
• Hall of Famer Brett Hull, who has scored the most career goals for the NHL St. Louis Blues, is rejoining the organization in the front office.
Hull, 49, won a Stanley Cup with the Dallas Stars and has been an executive with that franchise. He scored 527 of his 741 NHL goals for St. Louis.
• Departing ($2.60 to win) dominated the $490,000 Super Derby at Louisiana Downs in Bossier City, beating runner-up Ruler of Love by 4 lengths in the Grade II horse race.
Departing, a gelding trained by Al Stall Jr. and ridden by Robby Albarado, ran 11
8 miles in 1 minute, 50.08 seconds.
Departing and Ruler of Love also finished 1-2 in the Grade II West Virginia Derby on Aug. 3.
• Cannondale cyclist Daniele Ratto of Italy won the 14th stage of the Spanish Vuelta and countryman V
incenzo Nibali of the Astana team kept the overall lead.
Seattle Times news services