Japanese teenagers join WSF bid team presenting to Tokyo 2020
By HOWARD HARDING – Squash Mad Correspondent
Satomi Watanabe and Ryunosuke Tsukue, two Japanese teenagers who have already shown significant prowess on the international Squash stage, will join a World Squash Federation team led by President N Ramachandran at the sport’s presentation tomorrow (Friday) to the Tokyo 2020 Organising Committee for consideration for the 2020 Olympic Games.
Squash, together with seven other sports, will make its presentation following the recent International Olympic Committee (IOC) offer to the 2020 Games hosts to nominate additional sports for the 2020 programme.
The WSF team will also include Nicol David, the Malaysian who this month began her 10th successive year as women’s world number one, together with the Japan Squash Association President Mr Kazuya Kasahara and WSF Chief Executive Andrew Shelley.
“Our sport has been on an exciting journey of change and innovation,” said President Ramachandran. “Two years ago it took us to the final shortlist of three sports that were considered by the IOC for a place on the Tokyo 2020 programme, and we are now grasping the opportunity to re-present our case to the host city with both hands.
“The pathway towards 2020 has been a long one, starting for us in 2011, but we are pleased to still be walking on it!”
Satomi Watanabe is a 16-year-old from Yokohama who demonstrated her international promise by winning the US Junior Under-17 Open late last year, whilst 17-year-old Ryunosuke Tsukue (pictured above with Watanabe) became the country’s youngest ever National champion when he won the senior title in 2014.
Both players would expect to be in the hunt for medals should squash succeed in securing a place on the 2020 Games programme.