The Jakarta Post
The Japanese Olympic Committee (JOC) has focused on swimming, gymnastics, track and field and table tennis in its head-to-head competitions against other Asian powerhouse China at the 2018 Asian Games in Jakarta and Palembang, South Sumatra, which are being held from Aug. 18 to Sept. 2.
JOC executive board member Yasuhiro Yamashita said the Asian Games would be the country's final multi-sport event prior to hosting the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo.
Since China was considered the country with the best sports performance on the continent, Japan is looking forward to competing with them at the quadrennial event, he added.
“If China and Japan have a high-level competition, [our] athletes can learn a lot from the competitions. I believe those performances will be beneficial in two years' time at the Tokyo Olympics,” Yamashita said at a press conference on Saturday.
While Japan had not set a specific medal target for the Asian Games, the country aimed to claim 30 gold medals and finish third in the Olympics medal tally, he said.
He also said Japan had recorded high performances in judo, wrestling, gymnastics and swimming.
However, looking back over the past few years, Japan had a good chance of performing well in badminton, table tennis, fencing, sailing and weightlifting, he said.
Talking about badminton, Yamashita said the performance of Japanese shuttlers had significantly improved because of the support from Indonesian badminton coach Riony Mainaky. “His support is very important and effective,” he commented. (yan)