JAPANESE EMBASSY HOSTS SEND-OFF CEREMONY FOR TOKYO 2020 OLYMPICS TEAM
Updated: Jun 9, 2021
The Japanese Embassy in Lusaka hosted a send-off ceremony for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games bound Zambian contingent on Wednesday 19th May 2021 at the Residence of the Japanese Ambassador to Zambia in Lusaka.
Team Zambia was welcomed at the ceremony by the Japanese Ambassador to Zambia His Excellency Mizuuchi Ryuta who wished them all the best of luck in the Games and stated that Japan is still hopeful of hosting the Olympic Games for Athletes from all over the world.
“The Japanese government is making every effort from all fronts to make the Olympic Games possible and is committed to ensuring that Zambian Athletes get the required support before, during, and after the Games,’ He said.
Speaking at the same event, National Olympic Committee of Zambia (NOCZ) Secretary-General Boniface Kambikambi said that NOCZ was grateful to be part of the send-off event which provided a platform for the Japanese Community in Zambia to interact and give words of encouragement to athletes and Coaches making up Team Zambia.
“NOCZ is proud to disclose that the delegation traveling for the summer Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games is amongst the largest Zambia has ever sent out of qualified athletes. The last large number to the Olympic Games was at Seoul 1988 where Zambia featured the Men’s Football Team,” He said.
Kambikambi added saying that Zambia’s delegation will include a larger portion of female athletes compared to the male counterparts falling in line with the projected increased number of female participants at the Olympic Games.
“Our gratitude goes to our government who through the Ministry of Youth, Sport and Child Development (MYSCD) have continued to provide a conducive environment for the development of sport and supporting the sustainable development goals on gender participation in our country,” he said.
“I must say there that we are proud of the positive government leadership which has ensured that these Zambian athletes have the opportunity to fly our Eagle at the Tokyo 2020 Games between 23 July and 08 August 2021,” he added.
The Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games will be the first gender-balanced games in history with 49 Percent of participants expected to be female.
The Secretary-General called on everyone present to give special gratitude to the Japanese Embassy in Zambia for hosting the event and the Japanese Ambassador to Zambia H.E Mizuuchi Ryuta for the support rendered. And in particular to the Japanese People for providing a conducive place for Zambian Athletes to use for training and acclimatization in Asahi City, Chiba before commencing their competitions.
On the other hand, MYSCD Permanent Secretary Dr. John Phiri stated that it is gratifying to note that despite the challenges faced by the Country, Zambia managed to qualify athletes to the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games.
“I have also arrived at the fact that preparations for the games have been hard under COVID 19, nevertheless we are still keen and looking forward to memorable Olympic and Paralympic Games in Tokyo Japan,” He said.
Meanwhile, Copper Queens Captain Barbra Banda assured the delegates that the athletes will work hard and deliver according to expectations.
Athletes from four sports codes namely Athletics, Boxing, Football, and Swimming were present at yesterday’s event out of the six that are expected to represent Zambia at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games scheduled for 23 July until 08 August 2021.
Those present included Team Coaches, Team Zambia Management team, delegates from the Japanese Embassy in Lusaka, Ministry of Youth, Sport and Child Development, National Sports Council of Zambia, NOCZ Board and Staff Members and OYDC Zambia - Sports Development Centre C.E.O Dr Frederick Chitangala, Officials from various National Sports Federations.