— Published 17 February 2021

Five criteria for finding the rare-bird

No time to waste. The eight-person task force – four men and four women – formed last week to find a successor to Yoshiro Mori as President of Tokyo 2020, has begun its delicate mission. It held a first meeting on Tuesday February 16th, behind closed doors, with the aim of listing the qualities required to occupy the position. According to the NHK, the members of the panel would have determined five essential criteria: a thorough knowledge of the sport, but also of the Olympic and Paralympic Games, the capacity to concretise the equality of the sexes and the other principles set out in the Olympic Charter, a great competence in the management of organisations, and finally a real ability to coordinate the work of the various players in the Games. As a bonus, the future chairman of the organising committee will need to be able to work with the Japanese government and the Tokyo Metropolitan Government. Not easy. But according to several sources cited by Japanese media, the rare bird could be found as early as Wednesday, February 17th, during a second selection group meeting. The Tokyo Games Organising Committee says it is determined to convene its board of directors before the end of the week to appoint its new president. Two names are circulating: former judoka Yasuhiro Yamashita, president of the Japanese Olympic committee, and former synchronised swimming specialist Mikako Kotani, who was appointed sports director of the organising committee last year to replace Koji Murofushi. Olympics Minister, Seiko Hashimoto, often cited as a strong candidate, has reportedly expressed reluctance to take the job.