Tokyo Olympics name Mikako Kotani as new sports director

TOKYO (AP) — The organizing committee of the Tokyo 2020 Olympics has named Mikako Kotani as its new sports director. She takes over the position on Thursday.

Kotani won two bronze medals in synchronized swimming — now called artistic swimming — at the 1988 Olympics in Seoul.

She replaces Koji Murofushi, who is becoming Japan’s Sports Agency commissioner, a position in the Japanese government.

The Tokyo 2020 organizing committee is headed by 83-year-old Yoshiro Mori, a former Japanese prime minister.

Kotani is also a member of the executive board of the Japanese Olympic Committee and one of the few women in a sports leadership position in Japan.

The cabinet of new Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga has only two women among its 20 members.

The Tokyo Olympics have been postponed by the COVID-19 pandemic until next year. Organizers are adamant that it will take place but have offered few details about exactly how it will happen.

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