Tokyo [Japan], Dec 23 : Eight-time Olympic champion Usain Bolt blazed his way around the brand-new track of the Olympic stadium last Saturday together with other star athletes like Marlou van Rhijn (Dutch Paralympian sprinter) and Hannah Cockroft (British Paralympian and wheelchair runner) and many others.
The sporting greats ran an exhibition match relay’ One Race’ in front of a crowd of approximately 60,000 people. It was part of the ‘Hello, Our Stadium’ event to officially open the Olympic stadium.
“It was a great experience actually being here, running in front of so many people. I was happy and excited because I won’t be getting to compete at the Olympics. The fact that I got to run on the track was an experience in itself. And as I said earlier, it was wonderful that everyone could come together and compete as well. It was for a great cause we need to unite and become one,” Bolt said in a press conference afterward.
The popular Jamaican athlete showed he still got his ‘faster than lightning’ moves during the relay and drew loud cheers from the crowd. Bolt praised the condition of the stadium and also said that the Tokyo 2020 Olympics might just see his world record broken.
“I know Tokyo is going to be extremely exciting because you can see the number of people that were in the stadium,” Bolt added.
The Hello, Our Stadium sold-out gala was three-hour long celebration that featured a Tohoku Kizuna festival and pop performances from the Japanese group Dreams come True and Arashi. Top Japanese sprinter Yoshihide Kiryu and Rugby World Cup heroes like Michael Leitch and Fumiaki Tanaka and Ryoto Nakamura also made an appearance.
The Olympic stadium was built by renowned Japanese architect Kengo Kuma who wanted a strong emphasis on environmental awareness. He incorporated materials from Japan’s 47 prefectures plus added mist-cooling systems to keep fans and athletes alike cool during competition events.
The Olympic Stadium will host the Emperor’s Cup JFA 99th Japan Football Championship on January 1, 2020.
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