Tokyo, 25 May 2014 – Olympic champion Koji Murofushi and hundreds of children teamed up today to form a huge ‘TOKYO 2020’ on the playing field of the National Stadium during a ceremony to commemorate the stadium’s closure for reconstruction, bringing down the curtain on 56 years of history.
The National Stadium then hosted its last official sports event, the 2014 Asian Five Nations rugby match between Japan and Hong Kong. Contributing to the festive atmosphere, the Japanese national team, also known as the Brave Blossoms, won 49-08 to clinch qualification to the Rugby World Cup 2015 in England.
Prior to the match, Murofushi sent an invitation to the world to come to the city for the 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games: “Being on the field today was very moving. This stadium is the sanctum of Japanese sport, full of history and memories. I am delighted and deeply honoured to be here as part of the celebrations to mark its closure,” he said.
“The new National Stadium will be astounding and I can’t wait to be back here in 2020 to welcome athletes and spectators from around the world and to see the fantastic performances. Younger generations will also have the chance to make history in the new National Stadium during the 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games in Tokyo.”
The landmark new National Stadium will be used for the 2019 Rugby World Cup, as well as hosting the Opening and Closing Ceremonies, Athletics, Football and Rugby competitions for the 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games.
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