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Tokyo Olympics to be 1st-ever 'gender-balanced' Games: IOC

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Lausanne, March 8 (IANS) The Tokyo Olympics, which will be held from July 23 to August 8 this year, will be the first “gender-balanced” Games in Olympic history, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) said on Monday.

“Almost 49 per cent of the athletes participating will be women, according to the IOC quota allocation. These will be the first gender-balanced Games in history. There will be a ground-breaking competition schedule, ensuring equal visibility between women’s and men’s events and featuring nine more mixed events than at Rio 2016, raising the overall number to 18,” said the IOC.

The IOC said that the 206 competing nations should have at least one female and one male athlete in their respective teams. “All 206 NOCs (National Olympic Committees) and the IOC Refugee Olympic Team will be encouraged to have their flag carried by one female and one male athlete at the Opening Ceremony,” said the IOC.

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Originally scheduled to be held from July 24 to August 8, 2020, the Tokyo Olympics was postponed in March last year due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Additionally, at least 40.5 per cent of the athletes competing in the Tokyo Paralympics, which will be held from August 24 to September 5 this year, will be women. “At the Opening Ceremony, all the competing National Paralympic Committees will also be encouraged to have their flag carried by one female and one male athlete,” said the IOC.

Following the appointment of its new president, Hashimoto Seiko, the Tokyo 2020 Organising Committee has increased the size of its executive board, bringing the percentage of women to 42 per cent.

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“The IOC is committed to gender equality in all areas, from the athletes competing on and off the field of play to leadership roles in sports organisations,” said IOC President Thomas Bach.

–IANS

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