3 Ex-SMAP Members Run with Paralympic Torches

Sports Tokyo 2020

Tokyo, Aug. 24 (Jiji Press)--Three former members of disbanded Japanese male pop group SMAP who serve as special goodwill ambassadors of the International Paralympic Committee ran as the final torch bearers in Tokyo on Tuesday.

Goro Inagaki, Tsuyoshi Kusanagi and Shingo Katori ran in the Yoyogi Park athletic field, where the ceremony to mark the arrival of the Paralympic flame was held prior to the opening of the Tokyo Paralympics on Tuesday night.

"I felt the weight of the responsibility for relaying the torch filled with thoughts and hopes of many people, and I'm relieved to have completed the whole distance without major trouble," Inagaki said.

Katori called for "as many people as possible to cheer (Paralympians) at home."

At the ceremony, Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike said, "We want to realize a society in which everybody can enjoy sports anytime, anywhere and forever."

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

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