- Title: JAPAN: Japanese Olympic athletes gather for a send-off ceremony
- Date: 29th July 2008
- Summary: SUZUKI, FUKUHARA AND OTHER JOC (JAPAN OLYMPIC COMMITTEE) OFFICERS ARRIVING AT A NEWS CONFERENCE SUZUKI, FUKUHARA AND JOC OFFICERS SITTING DOWN REPORTERS LISTENING (SOUNDBITE) (Japanese) KEIJI SUZUKI, JAPAN OLYMPIC TEAM CAPTAIN SAYING: "I hope Judo will encourage the Japan team's momentum and personally I think what I have to do as the captain is to do the best in my Judo match and get a good result." JAPANESE FLAG (SOUNDBITE) (Mandarin) AI FUKUHARA, JAPAN OLYMPIC TEAM FLAG BEARER SAYING: "I expect my Chinese friends and coaches will come to see my games in Beijing. I only hope to play games without regret." SUZUKI, FUKUHARA AND HEAD OF DELEGATION TOMIAKI FUKUDA POSING FOR PHOTOGRAPHERS
- Embargoed: 13th August 2008 13:00
- Location: Japan
- Country: Japan
- Topics: Sports
- Reuters ID: LVA4LCHHTQV9GYZ8QX8GPIE8AQS8
- Story Text: Members of the Japanese national Olympic team vowed to give their best performances in Beijing as the country gave them a warm send-off ceremony in Tokyo on Monday (July 28).
In a ceremony at a Tokyo's hotel, Crown Prince Naruhito joined sports enthusiasts and relatives of the athletes to give a warm send off to the team who will head for Beijing for the Games.
The Athens judo gold medalist in the men's over 100 kg class, and the captain of the Japan team, Keiji Suzuki said he was looking forward to the Games, and said that judo, which amassed eight gold medals in Athens, would lead the way for Japan to win more medals.
"I hope Judo will encourage the Japan team's momentum and personally I think what I have to do as the captain is to do the best in my Judo match and get a good result," Suzuki said at a news conference after the ceremony.
Ai Fukuhara, 19-year-old female table tennis player and the Japanese team's flag bearer, who played table tennis in China as a professional, pleased reporters and Japan Olympic Committee officials when she expressed her hopes in Chinese.
"I expect my Chinese friends and coaches will come to see my games in Beijing. I only hope to play games without regret," she said.
Japan's will send a record number of 339 athletes to Beijing and aim to break their largest-ever medal haul of 37, including 16 gold medals, which was achieved in Athens.
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