Tokyo Olympics name Mikako Kotani as new Sports Director

TOKYO (AP) — The organising committee of the Tokyo 2020 Olympics has named Mikako Kotani as its new Sports Director. She takes over the position today.

Kotani won two bronze medals in synchronised swimming — now called artistic swimming — at the 1988 Olympics in Seoul.

She replaces Koji Murofushi, who is becoming Japan’s Sports Agency Commissioner, a position in the Japanese government.

The Tokyo 2020 organising committee is headed by 83-year-old Yoshiro Mori, a former Japanese prime minister. Kotani is also a member of the executive board of the Japanese Olympic Committee and one of the few women in a sports leadership position in Japan.

The Cabinet of new Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga has only two women among its 20 members.

The Tokyo Olympics have been postponed by the COVID-19 pandemic until next year. Organisers are adamant that it will take place but have offered few details about exactly how it will happen.

File photo shows Japan’s Mikako Kotani and Miyako Tanaka at the 1977 Olympic Games in Seoul, South Korea. PHOTO: AP