On 25 March 2021 at the J-Village National Training Centre in Fukushima, the Olympic flame began its 121-day journey across all 47 prefectures of Japan, with the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Torch Relay travelling the length and breadth of the country before finally arriving at Tokyo’s Olympic Stadium in time for the opening ceremony on 23rd July.
On Sunday (4 April), the iconic Olympic symbol arrived in the hockey hotspot of Gifu prefecture, an area that has hosted numerous top class international competitions from Olympic qualifiers to Asian Champions Trophies, all of which took place in the city of Kakamigahara.
The memorable day saw members of the Japan women’s hockey team became torchbearers, helping the Olympic flame through the Kakamigahara leg of its mammoth journey towards Tokyo. Sakura Japan legend Miyuki Nakagawa, who competed at the Athens 2004, Beijing 2008, London 2012 and Rio 21016 Olympic Games, carried the torch before handing it over to a group of current Sakura internationals, who ran alongside young hockey players before passing the Olympic flame onto Mr Asano, the Mayor of Kakamigahara city.
Asian Hockey Federation Vice President, Yokoyama Hide was the chief organizer of the very successful Olympic Torch Relay. He was also the Chief Guest of the event.
The Mayor of Kakamigahara, Kenji Asano also a Chief Guest during the Olympic Torch Relay, is a special friend and part of the AHF Family, graced this very special occasion with his presence.
“It is a great moment to witness the Sakura Japan – Japanese Women’s National Team feature in this auspicious event, the Torch Relay for Tokyo Olympic Games. We are extremely happy that Vice President Yokoyama has organized such a prestigious moment flawlessly in Kakamigahara, who also participated in the Olympic Torch Relay as a VIP Guest.” Said AHF Chief Executive/General Secretary, Mr. Tayyab Ikram on the occasion.
“It is a proud moment for us at the AHF to see Sakura Japan being featured at the Olympic torch relay. It was pleasing to see special AHF friends also participate including Kenji Asano. It is also very special to see this event so successfully and gracefully organised by Yokoyama”, said Mr. Fumio Ogura, AHF President.