"United by Emotion" revealed as official Tokyo 2020 motto

Tokyo 2020 have revealed that the official motto of this year's Olympic and Paralympic Games will be "United by Emotion".

Organisers said the slogan "emphasises the power of sport to bring together people from diverse backgrounds of every kind and allows them to connect and celebrate in a way that reaches beyond their differences".

To celebrate the release of the motto, a laser mapping display will be projected onto the Tokyo Skytree tower from today until March 25.

A video featuring Japanese tennis player Naomi Osaka has also been released to "share the key messages behind the Tokyo 2020 Games motto with the world".

The motto will be used in various ways and only be displayed in English.

People can expect to see it at competition venues, on official products and as part of street decorations.10 AM - Feb 17, 2020

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It will also be used in digital media.

"The Games motto encapsulates the Games vision, capturing the essence of the ideas and concepts that the host city wishes to share with the world," Tokyo 2020 said. 

"United by Emotion expresses the hope that the spectators, volunteers, and athletes from over 200 National Olympic Committees and the Refugee Olympic Team gathering in Tokyo this summer, as well as the billions watching on television and online across the globe, will come together and understand that there is more that unites than divides them.

"In this age where we so often connect with others without physically meeting, the Tokyo 2020 Games will inspire countless new face-to-face encounters among those participating in and watching events. 

"The Games will provide a time and a place where an astounding variety of people – different nationalities, ethnicities, races, genders, cultures, as well as those with and without impairments – can meet and get to know each other and look beyond their differences. 

"Sport gives people the opportunity to experience a variety of emotions and passions, and the Tokyo 2020 Games will allow people to witness the courage and competitive spirit of the athletes and voice their support. 

The motto will be used across Tokyo 2020 venues and elsewhere ©Tokyo 2020
The motto will be used across Tokyo 2020 venues and elsewhere ©Tokyo 2020

"This is precisely the power of sport – its ability to connect people through their emotions. 

"And it is what Tokyo 2020 intends to depict with the motto United by Emotion. 

"The moment when the world turns to Tokyo to share the excitement of the Games will soon be upon us. 

"Tokyo 2020 will use this motto throughout the build-up to the Games to illuminate the city of Tokyo and its Games venues."

The first Olympics to adopt a motto was Munich 1972 which used the phrase "The Happy Games".

A slogan has been a regular feature since Seoul 1988 with organisers in South Korea choosing "Harmony and Progress".

Subsequent mottos for Summer Games have been "Friends for Life" at Barcelona 1992, "The Celebration of the Century" at Atlanta 1996, "Share the Spirit - Dare to Dream" at Sydney 2000, "Welcome Home" at Athens 2004, "One World, One Dream" at Beijing 2008, "Inspire a Generation" at London 2012 and "A New World" at Rio 2016. 

The Tokyo 2020 Olympics will run between July 24 and August 9 with the Paralympics following between August 25 and September 6.

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Tokyo 2020 Women's Olympic Basketball Tournament field complete

The 12-team field for the Tokyo 2020 Women's Olympic Basketball Tournament was confirmed following the completion of the four FIBA Women's Olympic Qualifying Tournaments, with history made for Belgium and Puerto Rico, who are set for their maiden Olympic appearances.

On Sunday, the last six tickets to the Olympics were claimed by Australia, Belgium, Korea, Puerto Rico, Serbia and Spain, with Canada, China, France and Nigeria securing Tokyo 2020 berths on Saturday.

FIBA Women's Basketball World Cup 2018 champions USA and the hosts of the Olympic Games, Japan, already had guaranteed spots in the Olympics ahead of the FIBA Women's Olympic Qualifying Tournaments.

The full list of Tokyo 2020 Women's Olympic Basketball Tournament teams:

Australia
Belgium
Canada
China
France
Japan
Korea
Nigeria
Puerto Rico
Serbia
Spain
USA

Having won all three games, Canada emerged unbeaten from the Ostend, Belgium tournament with the host nation claiming the only other available qualification ticket alongside the automatically qualified Japan.

France utilized their home court advantage in Bourges, finishing with a 3-0 record and qualifying alongside Australia and Puerto Rico.

Meanwhile, the two tournaments in Belgrade, Serbia saw China, Korea, Nigeria, Spain and Serbia lock in their Tokyo 2020 berths, joining the automatically qualified USA.

Emma Meesseman (Belgium), Sandrine Gruda (France), Nneka Ogwumike (USA) and Meng Li (China) received TISSOT MVP awards to headline the All-Star Fives of their respective tournaments following impressive individual displays.

The 2020 Tokyo Women's Olympic Basketball Tournament will take place from July 27 - August 9, 2020.

The draw for the event will take place on March 21, 2020.

The 12 qualified teams will be divided into three groups of four teams each. The Group Phase played in a round robin format, with each team playing the other teams in the group once.

The teams placed first and second in each group and the two best third-placed teams in the Group Phase qualify for the Final Phase.

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Cuban manager optimistic over baseball Olympic Qualifier

Manager of the Cuban baseball team, Miguel Borroto, was optimistic today with view to the Olympic Qualifier in Arizona, United States, in which a ticket to the Tokyo 2020 Games is at stake.


In an exclusive interview with Prensa Latina, Borroto highlighted the revival of the sport of balls and strikes in Cuba in recent months, particularly during the crucial playoffs of the 59 National Championship, won by Matanzas Cocrodiles.

He took a couple of minutes from the busy training day at the Latin American stadium of Havana, to tell Prensa Latina that from next Sunday, the training team will play five matches against the Under 23 squad that will compete at the Panamerican Games of the category in Honduras and Nicaragua.

'I perceive a lot of enthusiasm and dedication in the players who yearn to attend the Olympic Games. We lost the first qualifying tournament, the Premier 12 (last November in Asia) and now Arizona is one more chance to win the ticket, he said.

The skipper of the Cuban team that will play Venezuela, Canada and Colombia in Group B of Olympic Qualifier in March 22 through 26, said that the type of baseball played in America is more accessible for Cubans.

'We are in the same time zone, it is the type of baseball we play and our minds are set on qualifying in Arizona; however, we should also think that there's a third and last chance,' Borroto told Prensa Latina.

The DT referred to the likelihood of having to travel to Chinese Taipei in case they fail to qualify in the Arizona tournament that will have as venues the cities of Tempe and Surprise, near Phoenix, State capital.

To be able to enter the third qualifying tournament, Cuba would have to finish second or third, to be able to play the Taiwan bout from April 1 to 5, where they will have to face then Holland, the People's Republic of China, Australia and the host team. Borroto pondered the playoff season at full stadiums, with broad support from fans. 'It rescued the spirit of joy that our national pastime generates,' he said.

Under the Havana winter sun and for about seven weeks, the players in the training team will work hard to find a spot among the 24 to be chosen for Arizona.

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Cuban Boxing: Fists, Strengths, and Tokyo's Cruel Stage

Cuban boxing will have in the Tokyo Olympic Games, one of the cruelest tournaments ever in history. This prediction can be verified from the qualifying tournament with venue in Buenos Aires (March 26 to April 3).

As it happens the boxing level in the continent has grown a lot, and there’s also the dormant possibility that some countries can reach an agreement with several of their professional boxers and have them fight, as part of a competition granting 33 visas for men (five in 52, 57 and 63 kg; four in 69, 75, and 81; and three in 91 and over 91 kg), as part of the continental competitions.

If our eight boxers can’t win their access there, there will be one last option at world level, scheduled for May and only 16 places to fulfill at the rate of two in each category.

With all and this panorama, Alberto Puig de la Barca, president of the Cuban Boxing Federation said that the main purpose in the road to the Olympic Games is that our eight athletes win their ticket in the Argentine capital ...

“A very detailed participation has been designed with goal of achieving our objectives. There is a very favorable atmosphere and work capacity among the shortlisted team and they have attained good results in the competitions held here with the Uzbekistan team, and more recently in the academy installed by the International Association in the Kazakh city of Almaty.

There, the nine attending boxers had the chance of sparring and training with the Hungarian and Japanese teams, and more than 30 members of the local elite, including several world medalists.

By the way, the rest of candidates for the pre-Olympic kept training hard at the National School, where this Thursday will take place control fights prior the definition of the eight boxers.

“We must start from the idea that we will initially arrive in Tokyo with two less chances, since there will be eight categories for men instead of ten, in addition to five women categories, another turndown.

I can tell you in advance that for Paris 2024 it’s expected the same number of men and women divisions.

There is no stress regarding the qualifier. It’s a strength to have several athletes in different categories with possibilities, the result of a great internal rivalry between first and second ranked athletes for years.

That demands to always give the extra for those considered the main figures of each weight. In fact, in the recently finished Playa Girón competition, the event with the highest technical and logistic level in recent years, all the finals were among the first and second ranked figures in the country. Everything as expected".

Taking a Closer Loook

Entering more precise projections on who could represent us, the official said that in 52 kg the balance is tilted in favor of Damián Arce (52 kg) before the winner in the World Competition and the Playa Giron tournament Yosbany Veitía. Arce is vigorous and engages quickly, he needs to work on his defense, in addition Veitía engaged in indiscipline, and has shown instability in his most recent international participations.

Although he repeated that the decision to prioritize those in best shape applies to all weight categories.

In fact, similar situations appear in the 57 kg (Osviel Caballero and Lázaro Álvarez), and in the 69 (Roniel Iglesias and Kevin Brown), on the other hand with a smoother path are Andy Cruz (63), Yoenlis Hernández (75) , the raising Arlen López (81) and Julio César La Cruz (91), closing the young Dainier Peró (+91).

The team will have a ten-day training based in Germany, starting on February 9th, and he advanced that they will have other international stops, including altitude training. That could probably be in Japan, to work on the jetlag, climate and food on Japanese grounds.

Regarding women's boxing, Puig said that feasibility studies and meetings continue with the highest officials of the Women Organization in Cuba. “Positive steps have been taken. When a consensus is reached, a strategy for its further development will begin. The spirituality of the Cuban woman is very favorable for her to succeed in combat sports and historically this has been proven in competitions at any level. "

A look at the Cuban boxing in the Olympic Games show that the well-known spearhead team is second in the medal list with a record of 37 gold, 19 silvers and 17 bronzes, only surpassed by the United States (50-24-40).

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Cuba gets ready for baseball pre-Olympic tournament

Cuba is getting ready for what will be its test in baseball, with the penultimate opportunity to participate in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics in a very difficult tournament to be held in Arizona, USA, in March.

The Cuban shortlisted team start training as of Monday at Havana's Latinoamericano Stadium with Miguel Borroto, runnerup with Camagüey's Bulls during the 59th National Baseball Series.

Beyond the preparation competitions that may be carried out against a local Sub23 team that will go to the Pan-American Games in Honduras and Nicaragua, Cuban baseball players must improve to stand out in the Arizona tournament.

Without relevant international results in recent times -debacles in the Lima 2019 Pan-American Games and the 2019 Premier 12 Baseball Tournament-, Cuba must play with Venezuela, Canada and Colombia in group B of the pre-Olympic tournament in March.

The first two of each series will go to the Super Round, in which only the winner will get a direct ticket to the Tokyo Olympics. However, the second and third places will have another opportunity.

The teams that reach those positions will participate in the China Taipei competition to be held from April 1 to 5, where they will compete against the Netherlands, People's Republic of China, Australia and the hosts for the last place towards the Tokyo Olympics.

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Cuba dominates Puerto Rico

Cuba's opening match of the tournament was a straight set victory over Puerto Rico 3-0 (25-18, 25-14, 25-19) on Friday night at the Pacific Coliseum in Vancouver, Canada.

 

Marlon Yant and Miguel Lopez finished with 13 and 10 points for Cuba. Pelegrín Vargas had 10 for Puerto Rico.

 

"Today’s game was pretty good. We played our game,” said Cuba’s coach Nicolas Vives. “I think we can play better than we played today. Tomorrow we go against Canada which has a great team. We’re going to be playing point by point and we’re going to fight until the end.

 

Puerto Rican Maurice Torres regretted the many mistakes committed by his team and blamed them for the loss.

 

"We just made way too many errors” Torres said. “You can compete as much as you can until you start making errors like we did. That’s what changed the entire match.”

 

Livan Rodriguez Osoria, captain of Cuba: "We’re going to be ready for tomorrow which will define the qualification for Tokyo. We are ready for tomorrow’s game. We can’t wait to play against Canada. They’re a great team and we’ll be ready for them."

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FIVE OLYMPIC VACANCIES AT STAKE AS FIVE CONTINENTAL QUALIFIERS SET FOR KICK-OFF

The five vacancies in the men’s volleyball tournament of the 2020 Olympic Games that are still available are about to be contested at various venues on all five continents over the next few days and the line-up for Tokyo 2020 should be finalized by January 12.
The winners of the five continental qualification tournaments will claim the last five tickets (one per continental confederation) to Tokyo and will join hosts Japan, as well as the teams of Argentina, Brazil, Italy, Poland, Russia and USA who advanced through the intercontinental qualifiers in August, in the quest for the most coveted medals in the sports world.
CEV qualification tournament
European squads will be the first to get into action, as their eight-team qualifier gets underway on Sunday, January 5, at the Max-Schmeling-Halle in Berlin. The participants are split into two round-robin pools to be played over four consecutive days on the way to the January 9 semifinals, matching the pool winners against the pool runners-up, and the big final on January 10 to decide the quota.
Hosts Germany have played at the Olympics twice as East Germany, once as Germany and another two times after the reunification, most recently finishing fifth at London 2012. Their best result is the Munich 1972 silver for GDR. Germany’s toughest opposition in Pool A is likely to be presented by Slovenia, a team that never made it to the Olympics, but claimed silver medals at two of the three most recent European Championships, in 2015 and 2019. Also in that pool are Belgium, looking for their second Olympic appearance, after the eighth place way back in 1968, and the Czech Republic, who have never been to the Olympics as such, but showcase one silver (1964) and one bronze (1968) medals out of their five appearances in the first five Olympic tournaments through 1980 as Czechoslovakia.
Reigning 2019 European champions Serbia, gold medallists at Sydney 2000 and bronze medallists at Atlanta 1996 as Serbia and Montenegro, are aiming at their seventh Olympic participation overall. They and the team of France, who played at four editions of the Games and finished ninth in 2016, seem to be the big favourites to make the semis from Pool B, but they will have to face the strong challenge of Bulgaria, silver medallists at Moscow 1980 and looking for their ninth trip to the Olympics, and the Netherlands, Atlanta 1996 champions and Barcelona 1992 runners-up, attempting to register their seventh appearance at the Games.
AVC qualification tournament
Asian teams will be the next to join the race to Tokyo 2020, as the AVC qualification tournament kicks off in Jiangmen on January 7 in the same format as the one of CEV – eight teams, divided into two round-robin pools leading up to crossed semifinals and a final – to stamp one Olympic visa on January 12.
In Pool A, hosts China, most recently finishing fifth at home at Beijing 2008, are targeting their third Olympic appearance, in the company of reigning 2019 Asian champions Iran, who finished fifth at Rio 2016, their only Olympic participation so far, as well as Kazakhstan and Chinese Taipei, who have never made it to the Games as such.
2019 Asian Championship runners-up Australia, who ranked eighth at home at Sydney 2000 and played at two more editions of the Games afterwards, lead the way in Pool B, with eight-time Olympic participants Korea as their main contender. India and Qatar will also start the Jiangmen tournament in Pool B, hoping to book Olympic tickets for the first time in history. 
CAVB qualification tournament
A single round-robin tournament with five participating teams will produce the single African representative at Tokyo 2020. Egyptian capital Cairo will host the CAVB qualification battles over five consecutive days, from January 7 through 11.
Tournament hosts Egypt represented their continent at the most recent edition of the Games, in Rio, where they placed ninth. It was their best result out of four Olympic appearances. Tunisia, the African nation with most Olympic experience and reigning 2019 continental champion, have a good shot at booking their seventh trip to the Games. The ninth place at Los Angeles 1984 is their best standing so far. In 1992, Algeria crossed the Mediterranean to finish 12th at the Barcelona Olympics. Now they are aiming at their second Olympic appearance. The squads of Ghana and African championship runners-up Cameroon will also take their chances at claiming their first ever Olympic visa.
CSV qualification tournament
With both South American standouts, Brazil and Argentina, having already booked their Tokyo 2020 tickets, this year’s edition of the Olympic Games will mark the first time in history when the continent will be represented by three men’s teams. In a single round-robin qualifier from January 10 through 12 in Santiago, Chile, four teams will compete for the rare honour to accompany the two South American powerhouses to the Olympics.
Venezuela are, in fact, the only other team from the continent that have ever appeared at the Games. They did so in 2008 when they finished ninth in Beijing and will try to do it again in 2020 in Tokyo. None of their three opponents in Santiago – Colombia, Peru and hosts Chile – have ever qualified for the Olympics, so the fans may expect fierce battles at Arena Monticello. 
NORCECA qualification tournament
The North American qualifier is the last of the five to get underway, also as a single round-robin tournament with four teams from January 10 through 12. Vancouver, Canada will host the event with the iconic Pacific Coliseum as the arena of the matches.
Hosts Canada will aim to secure their fifth Olympic appearance. At Rio 2016, the Maple Leafs ranked fifth, while their best result came at Los Angeles 1984, when they finished fourth. Montreal 1976 bronze medallists Cuba, who are after their eighth trip to the Olympics and hoping to do better than the 11th place in the Rio 2016 final standings, are another serious contender for a spot at Tokyo 2020. Mexico, who shared that 11th position with Cuba at their second participation in the Games, and Puerto Rico, who are targeting their first appearance at the Olympics, are the other two squads in the line-up for the NORCECA vacancy.
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Authorities call on athletes to elevate Cuba in Tokyo-2020 Games

Roberto Leon Richards, president of the Cuban Olympic Committee, and Osvaldo Vento, president of the National Sports Institute (INDER), congratulated the Cuban athletes, who are focusing their work on the Tokyo-2020 Olympics, for the new year.

On his Twitter account, Richards congratulated the athletes, coaches and the Cuban sports movement, to whom he sent a big hug, convinced that the Olympic event in Tokyo, Japan, will be another scenario of victories for them.

For his part, the INDER president recalled a statement by the historic leader of the Revolution, Fidel Castro, on the occasion of the 61st anniversary of that heoric deed.

'Let's remember Fidel as a permanent motivation for the commitments to come. He insisted that sports encourage the people, entertain the people, excite the people and make the people happy. Congratulations,' Vento twitted.

To date, Cuba has 26 qualified athletes for the Tokyo-2020 Olympic Games in boating (4), cycling (1), artistic gymnastics (2), wrestling (2), modern pentathlon (2), shooting (5) and track and field (10).

According to the Cuban Sports Institute, the number of athletes for the Olympic Games must exceed 100 and Cuban athletes are expected to attend qualifying events from January 5 and May 24, 2020.

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