Yamagata Ryota to head Japan's Olympic team

NHK -- Jul 02
The Japanese Olympic Committee has named sprinter Yamagata Ryota captain of Team Japan for the upcoming Tokyo Olympics. Table tennis player Ishikawa Kasumi has been named vice-captain.

The JOC announced the appointments on Thursday.

The JOC had said that to promote the spirit of gender equality, it would appoint a man and a woman as the team's captain and vice-captain -- a post newly created for the Summer Olympics.

Yamagata last month set a new national record in the men's 100 meters, at 9.95 seconds. The 29-year-old has competed in the last two Summer Games. At the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics, he was a member of the men's 400-meter relay team that won the silver.

Table tennis player Ishikawa has also taken part in the past two Summer Olympics. She is 28.

At the 2012 London Games, she was a member of a women's team that won the silver -- the first Olympic medal ever won by Japan in table tennis. At Rio de Janeiro, Ishikawa was a member of the women's team that won the bronze.