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First round of applications for Tokyo 2020 torch relay opens

Xinhua | Updated: 2019-06-18 10:47
The Olympic torch of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games is displayed at a Torch Relay event to mark the 300-day milestone to the starting date of the torch relay in Tokyo, Japan, June 1, 2019. [Photo/Agencies]

TOKYO - Recruitment of torch relay runners for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics began on Monday, with people of all genders and nationalities invited to become torchbearers.

Recruitment of Tokyo 2020 torch relay runners will be conducted by four sponsor companies and all 47 prefectures in the country. Applicants can apply to all sponsor companies and one of the prefectures, but can only run once in the relay.

Those who wish to be torchbearers in the relay, which will travel around Japan for 121 days, can first submit their application through smartphone app of Coca-Cola (Japan) Co, one of the torch relay sponsors of Tokyo 2020.

The application period will end on Aug 31, with the final results expected around the middle of December.

The three other torch relay sponsors, Toyota Motor, Nippon Life Insurance, and Nippon Telegraph and Telephone corporation, will begin accepting applications on June 24, while special entities led by local governments in each prefecture will start doing so on July 1.

About 10,000 torchbearers will run roughly 200 meters each in the Japan leg of the relay, which will pass through all 47 prefectures of the country and feature major landmarks including World Heritage sites and areas devastated by recent natural disasters such as the 2011 earthquake and tsunami.

To run in the relay, people must have been born before April 1, 2008, and have a connection with the prefecture in which they wish to run, the organizers said.

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