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Rediff.com  » Sports » Sports Shorts: Tokyo unveils Miraitowa and Someity as 2020 mascots

Sports Shorts: Tokyo unveils Miraitowa and Someity as 2020 mascots

Last updated on: July 22, 2018 23:41 IST

Yoshiro Mori, president of the Tokyo 2020 Organising Committee, and Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike pose for a group photo with Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games mascot Miraitowa and Paralympic mascot Someity during the mascots' debut in Tokyo, Japan, on Sunday

IMAGE: Yoshiro Mori, president of the Tokyo 2020 Organising Committee, and Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike pose for a group photo with Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games mascot Miraitowa and Paralympic mascot Someity during the mascots' debut in Tokyo, Japan, on Sunday. Photograph: Kim Kyung-Hoon/Reuters

The mascots for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games were named during a ceremony in the Japanese capital on Sunday.

The Olympic mascot, a blue-checked pointy-eared figure, was named as Miraitowa -- combining the Japanese words 'mirai', meaning future, and 'towa', which means eternity.

The Paralympic counterpart, who is pink-checked and wears a cape, was named Someity after a variety of cherry blossom called Someiyoshino. Games organisers also said the name sounded similar to "so mighty" in English.

 

The mascots were revealed in February but remained unnamed until Sunday.

They were designed by illustrator Ryo Taniguchi, who won a nationwide competition that was determined by Japanese children, with his entries clinching more than half the total votes.

Tokyo 2020 president and former Japanese prime minister Yoshiro Mori was present at the unveiling and delivered a message of inclusion.

"You are part of the Olympics as well," Mori told the assembled children.

"You chose these two characters. We had roughly five million students who chose these so the Olympics belongs to everyone, not just the athletes, everyone.

"We are hoping everyone will unite as one and we hope to achieve a great success and to do so we will need everyone's cooperation."

In a country that has a fondness for mascots, Tokyo 2020 organisers sought to create lovable characters for the Games with both selections said to have superpowers and an ability to teleport between the digital world and reality.

After the ceremony, the mascots reappeared on a boat that cruised down the Sumida river, waving to children on the riverbank as they passed some of Tokyo's most iconic landmarks. 

Rathi, Deepak win gold on concluding day at Junior Asian Wrestling

Sachin Rathi scripted a sensational turn around in the final bout while Deepak Puniya asserted his supremacy without fuss as India won two gold and as many bronze medals in the freestyle competition on the concluding day of the Junior Asian Wrestling Championship, in New Delhi on Sunday.

On the last day of the championship, four of the five Indian wrestlers reached the medal round with Suraj Rajkumar Kokate (61kg) and Mohit (125kg) winning bronze medals.

 

The only one to miss out was Somveer Singh in the 92kg category. 

India, with 173 points, finished second in the team championship behind Iran (189 points). Uzbekistan finished third with 128 points.

Rathi won the first gold of the day for India in the 74kg with a sensational turn around against Mongolia's Bat-Erdene Byambasuren in the gold medal match.

Rathi trailed 2-5 after the first period and then lagged behind 2-9 in the second but from there he turned the bout on its head and pinned his opponent to claim the gold.

“I knew I could win. My coach told me that I have to fight every second. I had the confidence to win gold despite trailing by many points. I just did not give up. It was more of a mental challenge after conceding such lead and I did it," he said.

India junior coach Maha Singh Rao said, “I had advised him to not let the Mongolian fight from a distance. From there he was very attacking. I expected gold from him. He had it in him.”

In-form Deepak Punia then expectedly won the gold comfortably in the 86kg category. In the gold medal bout he fought with Turkmenistan's Azat Gajyyev and won on technical superiority.

The 2016 World Cadet Champion's only big challenge was Iran's Seyedsajjad Seyedmehdi Seyedi but he beat him easily 8-2. He also beat Kazkahstan's Daniyar Meldebek (11-0) and Japan's Kairi Yagi (16-6) en route the final.

Puniya had come into the tournament after winning bronze at Tbilisi Grand Prix in Georgia, where celebrated Sushil Kumar had lost his first bout in four year.

“It was easy for me as I had the experience of competing in the senior championship also,” said Puniya, who hails from Sara village in Jhajjar district of Haryana.

In an exciting battle with Japan's Yuto, India's Suraj Rajkumar Kokate erased a four-point lead to eke out a 16-8 win to claim a bronze in the 61kg category.

Suraj leveled the score with an impressive ‘kalaganj' (ankle-pick). Before the first period ended, he had taken a 8-4 lead.

The Japanese was though not in a mood to let it go and leveled back the scores 8-8 with consecutive gut wrench moves. However, from there Suraj never looked back and logged 8 more points to finish the bout in his favour.

“I had seen his bouts, so I was prepared how to tackle him,” said Suraj, who is now targeting a good show at the Junior World Championship.

Junior India coach Rao said he was expecting a gold from Suraj but small mistakes made the difference. Suraj had lost his semi-final 6-9 to Kazakhstan's Syrbaz Talgat.

Mohit, meanwhile, fought for bronze in the 125kg against Mongolia's Bat Erdene Erdenebaatar and won it by technical superiority.  

In the 92kg, Somveer Singh could not reach the medal round after losing his close third round 2-3 Japan's Takuma Otsu.

Manu-Sumeeth retain Lagos International title

Defending champions Manu Attri and Sumeeth Reddy retained the men's doubles title at US$ 25,000 Lagos International badminton tournament in Nigeria.

Senior national champions Manu and Sumeeth, seeded top, defeated Vaibhav and Prakash Raj 21-12, 21-12 in the finals to lay claim to the title for the second time.

In a tournament dominated by Indians, women doubles and mixed doubles finals also turned out to be a fight among compatriots.

While Kuhoo Garg and Ria Mukherjee combined to see off Krishma Wadekar and V Harika 21-10, 21-18 in women's doubles, Manu and Manisha paired up to secure the mixed doubles gold by defeating Kuhoo and Rohan Kapoor 21-17, 22-20 in another summit clash.

In women's singles, Sree Krishina Priya had to settle for a silver after she suffered a heart-breaking 22-20, 16-21, 25-27 loss to Russia's Ksenia Polikaprova in a thrilling final.

Misha Zilberman of Israel, meanwhile, claimed the men's singles title after defeating Ramdam Misburn of Maylasia in a hard-fought game.

There wasn't any safety concerns in India: Swiss squash player's parents clarify

The parents of Switzerland squash player Ambre Allinckx, who reportedly "pulled out" from the ongoing WSF-World Junior Squash Championship here owing to safety concerns, have said "they never were concerned about safety in India" contrary to what was published in the media.

In fact, Ambre's parents went to the extent of terming the news report as a "lie or a journalistic invention”.

"The Swiss girl coming under fire after a media report claimed that she had pulled out of the tournament in Chennai, owing to safety concerns, her parents chose to clarify in a message to a squash website.

“Ambre Allinckx couldn't make it because her parents did not want her to make the trip,” Swiss coach Pascal Bhurin had been quoted then.

According to a release sent by Squash Rackets Federation of India (SRFI), Allinckx's parents Igor and Valerie clarified in a message to squashsite.co.uk, a leading squash website, that "we, as parent, never were concerned about safety in India. This is a lie or a journalist invention."

"We wanted to have summer holidays as a family and due to the father (Igor) work this has to take place in July. So nothing in our decision was about safety. Ambre has already travel to Egypt, Morocco, Tunisia, Poland, France, Germany, Czech Republic, Italy, Mexico, etc and we never considered India as a place more dangerous that these ones. We never read articles or saw TV emission about this. Again, this is speculation, or invention," they wrote.

They also wrote that it had been decided in September last year not to send the girl to the tournament for two reasons and also they had not read about India being a "dangerous place."

"We decided already in September last year not to send Ambre to this year Junior World Championship for two reasons. She is still young as she turned 16 in March. She played the European U-17 Team this year and will play World Junior in the next 2 years. Last year, at the season end, she was very tired so we didn't want to physically over charge her," they clarified.

The Swiss player's parents also said they would be delighted to visit India on another occasion.

"We, the Allinckx family and Ambre, would be delighted to visit India at another occasion. But right now she is shocked that so many people show hate to her. Please stop this!"

Earlier, World Squash Federation Chief Executive Officer Andrew Shelley had responded with an "all well" note to clear the atmosphere and said "like the WSF, they all have complete confidence with the security arrangements made by Tamil Nadu Squash Rackets Association at the Championship Hotel and playing venues to ensure the safety of the players at this event."

Chennai is hosting the World Junior Squash Championship for men and women (under-19) and the team championship (for men) at ISA courts and the Express Avenue Mall.

Title holder Tarek enters final of World Junior squash

Top seed and defending champion Marwan Tarek bounced back from being 4-8 down in the deciding game to oust his Egyptian compatriot Omar El Torkey in the men's semifinal of the WSF-World Junior Squash Championship (Under-19), on Sunday. 

Tarek, who won a 11-9, 6-11, 11-8, 2-11, 11-8, will meet fellow countryman Mostafa Asal, the second seed, in Monday’s final.

The women's final will also be an all-Egyptian affair as no 1 seed Rowan Redy Araby made short work of Jana Shiha 11-5 13-11 11-6 to set up a clash with the second seed Hania El Hammamy, who sent England's Lucy Termel packing in four games.

While Tarek was pushed all the way in his match, Asal romped into the summit clash with a fluent win over another Egyptian Mostafa El Serty (3/4 seed).

The contest between the no 1 seed and his fellow Egyptian El Torkey saw neither willing to give an inch to the other as they played with a lot of intensity.

Torkey not only matched his famed rival stroke for stroke but also looked capable of pulling off an upset.

Fast rallies interspersed with an occasional drop shot was the feature as the two went all out, gasping for breath at times but relentless in their pursuit of ascendancy.

In the decider, Torkey went up 8-4 and the possibility of a shock result appeared real before the top seed turned the tables on his opponent reeling off seven straight points to emerge victorious in little over an hour and a half.

"That's the longest match I've ever played, but no regrets, it's the WJ semis. I was 3 points from going out, I'm sop happy to reach the final again," the no 1 seed said after the win.

Unlike the men's no 1 seed, the women's top seed Araby won in straight games. Shiha surprised her rival in the second game which she led and almost grabbed the game but the defending champion from Alexandria showed her capability with some smart pick ups and drives to win on extra points.

The second women's semi-final saw the only non-Egyptian, Termel put up a fight and win the second game.

However, Hammamy hit back strongly in the next two and never allowed the English girl any opportunities to close out the match in 40 minutes.

Rathi, Deepak win gold on concluding day at Junior Asian Wrestling

Sachin Rathi scripted a sensational turn around in the final bout while Deepak Puniya asserted his supremacy without fuss as India won two gold and as many bronze medals in the freestyle competition on the concluding day of the Junior Asian Wrestling Championship, in New Delhi on Sunday.

On the last day of the championship, four of the five Indian wrestlers reached the medal round with Suraj Rajkumar Kokate (61kg) and Mohit (125kg) winning bronze medals.

The only one to miss out was Somveer Singh in the 92kg category.

India, with 173 points, finished second in the team championship behind Iran (189 points). Uzbekistan finished third with 128 points.

Rathi won the first gold of the day for India in the 74kg with a sensational turn around against Mongolia's Bat-Erdene Byambasuren in the gold medal match.

Rathi trailed 2-5 after the first period and then lagged behind 2-9 in the second but from there he turned the bout on its head and pinned his opponent to claim the gold.

 “I knew I could win. My coach told me that I have to fight every second. I had the confidence to win gold despite trailing by many points. I just did not give up. It was more of a mental challenge after conceding such lead and I did it," he said.

India junior coach Maha Singh Rao said, “I had advised him to not let the Mongolian fight from a distance. From there he was very attacking. I expected gold from him. He had it in him.”

In-form Deepak Punia then expectedly won the gold comfortably in the 86kg category. In the gold medal bout he fought with Turkmenistan's Azat Gajyyev and won on technical superiority.

The 2016 World Cadet Champion's only big challenge was Iran's Seyedsajjad Seyedmehdi Seyedi but he beat him easily 8-2. He also beat Kazkahstan's Daniyar Meldebek (11-0) and Japan's Kairi Yagi (16-6) en route the final.

Puniya had come into the tournament after winning bronze at Tbilisi Grand Prix in Georgia, where celebrated Sushil Kumar had lost his first bout in four year.

 “It was easy for me as I had the experience of competing in the senior championship also,” said Puniya, who hails from Sara village in Jhajjar district of Haryana.

In an exciting battle with Japan's Yuto, India's Suraj Rajkumar Kokate erased a four-point lead to eke out a 16-8 win to claim a bronze in the 61kg category.

Suraj leveled the score with an impressive ‘kalaganj' (ankle-pick). Before the first period ended, he had taken a 8-4 lead.

The Japanese was though not in a mood to let it go and leveled back the scores 8-8 with consecutive gut wrench moves. However, from there Suraj never looked back and logged 8 more points to finish the bout in his favour.

 “I had seen his bouts, so I was prepared how to tackle him,” said Suraj, who is now targeting a good show at the Junior World Championship.

Junior India coach Rao said he was expecting a gold from Suraj but small mistakes made the difference. Suraj had lost his semi-final 6-9 to Kazakhstan's Syrbaz Talgat.

Mohit, meanwhile, fought for bronze in the 125kg against Mongolia's Bat Erdene Erdenebaatar and won it by technical superiority. 

In the 92kg, Somveer Singh could not reach the medal round after losing his close third round 2-3 Japan's Takuma Otsu.

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