olympics

Japan looking for big ‘medal bounce’ as Olympic host nation

41 Comments
By STEPHEN WADE

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41 Comments
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I wish them the best, but with the way the media puts excessive pressure on the athletes competing from Japan, I always wonder about the "mental" toughness of Japanese athletes.

Seems like far too often, the results dont meet the hype!

9 ( +11 / -2 )

Every single summer Olympics since I started paying attention, the JOC comes out stating they want 30 gold medals.

And every single time, they fall far, far, short. And every single time, the JOC, the talking heads on TV, and more start coming up with every lame excuse in the world as to why the Japanese team fell short.

Here's the bottom line why Japan doesn't win 30 gold medals: In Olympic sports, Japan just isn't good enough to win 30 gold medals. With antiquated training methodologies, antiquated coaching styles, and a reliance on a few core sports that already have other strong if not dominant competitors, that's not going to change either.

16 ( +21 / -5 )

If Russian athletes are forbidden from competing every Gold medal will have an asterisk next to it.

-5 ( +6 / -11 )

@David

I disagree with your comment. Sounds like you have some bias going on.

I believe Japan will do well for a country of 127 million people.

Japanese athletes are very clean as well, they don't do steroids or try to cheat like we've seen Russia especially do in the past decade or more.

I think 30 gold medals is achievable! Watch the 2020 Olympics I think Japan will surprise you.

-6 ( +7 / -13 )

If Russian athletes are forbidden from competing every Gold medal will have an asterisk next to it.

No they won't, just as the medals won by athletes when the games were boycotted, there were no asterisks next to their names.

Your comment sounds like you are just looking to down play any accomplishments by athletes from other countries that will win, even though Russian athletes might not be competing in any given sport!

Not to mention that the Russian athletes that are qualified to compete will participate under the Olympic flag, also as in past games as well!

7 ( +9 / -2 )

3 am and 100 degrees, only the toughest one can survive the torture.

4 ( +7 / -3 )

I believe Japan will do well for a country of 127 million people.

Japanese athletes are very clean as well, they don't do steroids or try to cheat like we've seen Russia especially do in the past decade or more.

I think 30 gold medals is achievable! Watch the 2020 Olympics I think Japan will surprise you.

Japanese athletes are not clean. They have been hit on drug tests, they do steroids. I've personally seen it. Is it as organized and state sponsored as Russia? No. But they aren't 'very clean.'

And again, Summer Olympics after Summer Olympics that 30 golds is touted, and Olympics after Olympics, the team fails to reach half that goal. I've watched each time. Or I would have, except every time the Japanese athlete lost, NHK or whoever would cut away to replays of some 'uplifting' performance by a Japanese athlete ad nauseaum for the rest of the broadcast. I saw it in 2008, 2010, 2012, 2014, 2016 and 2018. Why should I expect any difference in 2020?

1 ( +6 / -5 )

@Yubaru

I'm just pointing out facts. If Japan had the same level of diversity as America I'm sure you'll see a lot more gold medals won by Japan.

For your second question Japan does Win! Maybe not enough for someone like you but it's good enough for Japanese people and among the best in Asia. I believe Japan can win 30 gold medals. Live with it!

-4 ( +6 / -10 )

@AlexBecu

https://www.google.com/amp/s/soranews24.com/2018/01/10/japanese-athlete-caught-after-slipping-steroids-into-rivals-drink-to-further-olympic-ambitions/amp/

https://www.google.com/amp/s/amp.theguardian.com/sport/2018/feb/13/first-doping-case-of-2018-winter-olympics-sees-japanese-athlete-sent-home

There are quite a few articles about Japanese athletes doping. So I have no idea where this "clean" image you have comes from. Doping isn't above any country. Also, 127 million people is a lot of people. This places Japan above any single European nation. Britain won 67 (27 gold) and they only have 60 million people.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

30 gold medals? That's a lot. Japan will only compete in 33 events. So the government wants them to win 91% of their events?

0 ( +4 / -4 )

@JJ Jetplane

This article is a magnet for the anti-Japan crowd. All the famous ones gather in one place.

You are talking about a few select cases but the majority of Japanese athletes are clean. Fact

Britain is not even in Asia its in Europe. Among Asian countries Japan ranks very high. Some of those countries have 3x to 10x more people than Japan.

We will have to wait and see for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. I believe Japan will surprise everyone with its performance!

-4 ( +4 / -8 )

Both China and the UK increased their gold medal haul by 30% for their respective Olympics. Japan is aiming for a 150% increase, that's a very big ask. Anything over 20 they should be delighted with.

I'm sure I'll be labelled as a 'Japan hater' or something for suggesting that 30 may be unreasonably high.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

I find Japan higher 30 medals when I see much more athletes on competitive mind. Marathon is a deception not that positive because it will not be in Tokyo.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Very, very achievable. I had actually set target of 40 golds, and absolutely to get that Top 3 position. Japan should really cash in on Judo, wrestling, Karate, gymnastics, and do real good in swimming, baseball and softball, athletics, table tennis, and dont forget Kei-chan and Naomi-chan who have real chance for 3 golds! Japanese are also excellent skateboarders, so maybe more golds.

30 gold medals? That's a lot. Japan will only compete in 33 events. So the government wants them to win 91% of their events?

Some events award maybe 20-30 Gold medals, like swimming and athletics, so many, many chances for Japan in each event. And home crowds will roar them home firthe victory!

-7 ( +3 / -10 )

Counting your chickens before they are hatched, much? I find anticipatory talk like this depressing, as it surely places further distracting pressure on the athletes. These two guys should know better and focus more on what is important.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

@AlexBecu

Britain is not even in Asia its in Europe. Among Asian countries Japan ranks very high. Some of those countries have 3x to 10x more people than Japan.

I clearly stated Britain was in Europe. Never once said Asia. I further stated that 127 Million is a lot of people. It ranks higher than all European countries individually. It is also a lot in Asia. Aside from the 2 outliers that have over 1 Billion people.

You are talking about a few select cases but the majority of Japanese athletes are clean. 

Most doping cases in the world are few select cases. You are not making a proper argument.

Lastly

Fact

Saying fact after every statement doesn't make it a fact.

8 ( +9 / -1 )

Delusional, but they can probably exceed 20.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Look, we can all take potshots at the goals set for the Japanese team by the JOC, but I think it is a good thing. Truthfully, I hope the Japanese team does well and the Japanese population have something to cheer for.

Frankly, the Olympics should be about the athletes that compete and the ordinary people supporting them. So, while I detest the billions of dollars wasted on this boondoggle by the politicians and all of the other fat cat elites, I truly do hope the Japanese team shines in their home country. Just as the Japanese rugby team did in this years World Cup.

30 gold medals? That's a lot. Japan will only compete in 33 events. So the government wants them to win 91% of their events?

When you say 33 events, I am assuming you mean 33 sports. Because in these 33 sports / events, there are far more than 33 gold medals being competed for.

Japan will probably rely on seven core sports: swimming, judo, badminton, track and field, gymnastics, table tennis and wrestling. And it would do well in all five sports being added for Tokyo: baseball, softball, sports climbing, karate, and skateboarding.

What I love about the Olympics is the breadth of sports that are now Olympic sports.

If you had told a bunch of skateboarders in the '70s that one day skateboarding would be an Olympic sport, they would have thought you were crazy!!

I love it, though. Watching skateboarders compete is probably going to be far more entertaining than.... dressage.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

Medal count is not the focus for those in positions of authority. They are more interested in cos play "Super Mario" personally my thinking is the Olympics after Tokyo, Hikido will be deservedly Toxix. Kind of like Fukushima.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

@ Nandaka

Counting your chickens before they are hatched, much? I find anticipatory talk like this depressing, as it surely places further distracting pressure on the athletes. These two guys should know better and focus more on what is important.

Well spoken.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

I think 30 gold medals is achievable! 

the only way Japan will get close to that is if Russia is banned from the Olympics and Japan win most of the Judo gold. Japan really doesn't have any hope otherwise

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Wake me up when a Japanese athlete wins the 100 metres sprint.

The rest of the Olympics is padding.

Are they any good at synchronized swimming?

1 ( +5 / -4 )

I don't care if they win 100 medals. How are all these glorious victories going to improve life for the average person in Japan?

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Wake me up when a Japanese athlete wins the 100 metres sprint.

@ Jimizo. You will be woken up next August! Kiryu-chan is more than capable of getting the Gold. He can run less than 10 seconds for 100meters. Japanese 4x100 relay team is a real strong chance for Gold too.

Are they any good at synchronized swimming?

Not real good, but a medal is a possibility with the home fans roaring them on.

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

Athletes shall do their best.

It is a human adventure to excel, not to necessarily win.

Good luck Japan !

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Many countries official sports organizations & media set goals for International sports events.

Often they're a little unrealistic, but nothing in sports is a given.

Many times champions / champion teams don't achieve the success they desire, simply because they are human, not robots.

Whether Japan wins 30 golds or not is purely speculative. Good luck if they do.

But the constant media build-up is mind numbing at times and often results in extreme disappointment when the miracle is not realized.

This is confirmed by sports commentators(and rope-ins) reluctance to just admit "we were not good enough", but instead rely on excuses, bad luck and unforseen circumstances.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Wake me up when a Japanese athlete wins the 100 metres sprint.

@ Jimizo. You will be woken up next August! Kiryu-chan is more than capable of getting the Gold. He can run less than 10 seconds for 100meters

I doubt he will, cobber-chan.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Gotta target/invest in sports with plenty of individual chances (events/categories) to win medals and, if possible, not too much competition. That's what team GB did in 2012 with rowing & track cycling, and it worked. Same with SK & shooting or archery.

Don't bother (and waste $) with team sports; 2 golds max (M & W) in basket, handball, volley etc against the likes of russia, china, the us, germany, france, spain, italy, serbia etc you're not gonna win (and if you do it's only 1 medal, not a great ROI).

30 golds seems pretty optimistic though (how many events/medals in climbing, skateboarding, karate and other new sports; are J athletes any good?)

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I wonder if the IOC has had any say on Olympics broadcasting in Japan or it will just allow the tv stations to constantly repeat events with high-profile or successful Japanese athletes. This happens during every Olympics on Japanese tv.

During the London Olympics in 2012, the Japanese broadcasters showed the men's 800m final, one of the greatest races ever run, once when it was live and didn't bother repeating it. The race finished first: World Record, second: World Junior Record, and then five out of six personal bests. The guy who finished last did so with what was normally a gold winning time. This was completely unprecedented and happened thanks to World #1 David Rudisha going flat out from the start. 800s are normally run with more subtle tactics, especially in the Olympics where gold is what matters.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

 You will be woken up next August! Kiryu-chan is more than capable of getting the Gold.

Kiryu-chan lol Sani Brown is faster 9.97 and has more chance to make the final.

you have to consistently run under 10second to win the 100m final in the Olympics none of the Japanese sprinters can do that.

Japanese 4x100 relay team is a real strong chance for Gold too.

only if America fall over or drop the batton lol

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Very, very achievable. I had actually set target of 40 golds,  NFI

countries that have hosted the Olympics like Great Britian , Australia spent $billions on athlete development leading up to their Olympics and got good medal counts as a result. Other than wasting all their money on buildings for the Olympics what has Japan spent on athlete development, Japan

wont get anywhere near 40 gold theyll struggle to get even 30, 20 maybe 25 if Russia is banned.

If Russia goes to the Olympics then you can count about 20~30% the judo, wrestling gold that Japan wont win

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

The athletes' parents in Japan will have spent a fortune on "athlete development", I can guarantee you that.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Sports is an interesting thing. Home field advantage tends to help bring out the best in athletes. Something about having the crowd on your side allows you to go out and show out. You want the cheers. You want the energy and recognition that comes along with it. Athletes don't compete to represent their country. They compete to be the best and the high they get from winning.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

AlexBecau: "Japanese athletes are very clean as well, they don't do steroids or try to cheat like we've seen Russia especially do in the past decade or more."

Wrong. Japanese has dopers too, and you know it. You've even been called on it here and before, but you keep saying "they are clean".

"You are talking about a few select cases but the majority of Japanese athletes are clean. Fact"

No, the FACT is that you said "Japanese athletes are clean" and that they "don't do steroids or try to cheat". Oops! You're backtracking only proves YOU are not stating the facts, just deluding them.

"I think 30 gold medals is achievable! Watch the 2020 Olympics I think Japan will surprise you."

I hope they DO do well, and at the last Olympics they actually exceeded their predictions for the first time ever, but you then go on to undermine your comment by saying they cannot do as well as they could if they were more ethnically diverse, which is rubbish of an excuse, my friend, not to mention insulting to Japan and its athletes.

I think they'll do well, but I think they are once again over predicting and will have to prepare the apology speech for after. 30 golds, or whatever, should be a GOAL to strive for, but a prediction the media and others are already practically claiming is in the bag. And sorry, but holding baseball tournaments or similar events with only six teams is NOT representative of the world, and should not count. It means 50 percent of the entire Olympic event's participants will medal.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Overhyped nonsense - should be moved permanently to Greece.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I wonder if the food is a factor?

Japanese in general don't consume as much red meat as athletes from other countries. Sure, they consume "healthy" food but take a look at what Western athletes eat, especially those in 'power' sports.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Looking forward to the Olympics generally, but not the hypernationalist tv coverage of it on Japanese TV. Ignoring major track and field and swimming events going on, whilst endlessly replaying Japanese people winning bronze medals is not much fun to watch.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Well, some of the swimmers might pick up some brown medals

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Not a chance. This is just more pressure on the Japanese athletes who know themselves there isn't a chance. Has there ever been?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

AlexBecau you point out no facts but just come across as a cheerleader. based on past results Japan will struggle.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Of course every nation wants a pile of medals but look at Japan. Not a large nation, how many people are there and there's many other factors as well. The Americans and Russians have many more athletes from their larger and more populated countries and it's no surprise. Still, Japan does have its lion's share of stellar athletes, even if it's more in winter sports than for summer. It's best to not hype it up and see what the dice say.

Nonetheless, kudos to Japan's team for acting cool and even losing graciously the last time around and even cleaning up the locker rooms and latrines - they were winners in that regard!

Let's just have the best win, and everybody act like adults in these Games, OK?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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