Asian Winter Games begin in Japan

With South Korea's Pyeongchang staging the Winter Olympics in 2018 and Beijing hosting the event four years later, a third successive Winter Games in Asia would underline the region's growing presence on the worldwide sporting stage.

While Sapporo does have many advantages, several of the facilities being used for the Asian Winter Games were built for the '72 Games and are showing signs of age.

Mori said: "For Tokyo 2020, the Sapporo 2017 Asian Winter Games offers the experts we are engaging in various fields, from transportation to medical services, media operations and venue management, an opportunity to gain valuable experience in advance of the Tokyo 2020 Games". "We have great expectations for the spectacular athletic performances of over 2,000 athletes".

The Olympic Council of Asia's 8th Asian Winter Games opened at the Sapporo Dome in February featuring five sports, 11 disciplines and 64 events at 12 competition venues.

Keeping with the sportsman spirit, the Japanese government is allowing the North Korean athletes to enter the country to take part in the Games despite Japan's entry ban on North Korean citizens, as reported in AP.

A day after getting shut out of gold medals, South Korea went back to its title-winning ways at the Sapporo Asian Winter Games on Wednesday. He had the combined time of 2:19.37 after two runs, while Yohei Koyama of Japan got the gold with 2:17.51.

The Chinese foursome - Wu Dajing, Ren Ziwei, Han Tianyu and Xu Hongzhi had been trading lead with South Korea and Japan before storming home first ahead of South Korea to take China's third short track gold in Sapporo.

Choi won the event with a time of 2 minutes, 21.46 seconds to edge fellow-South Korean Shim Suk-hee by.153 seconds.

The games have not been without controversy stemming from recent and older geopolitical tensions.

  • Joe Gonzales