Muto has "number of ideas" for Tokyo 2020 wheelchair basketball tournaments

September 26, 2016   Sports

Inside the Game | Paralympic News | Source

Toshiro Muto watched wheelchair basketball during the Rio 2016 Paralympics ©Getty Images

Tokyo 2020 chief executive Toshiro Muto said he has a "number of ideas" for the Paralympic wheelchair basketball tournaments in the Japanese capital.

Muto attended games at the Rio 2016 Paralympics, which closed on September 18, and also held talks with Ulf Mehrens, the President of the International Wheelchair Basketball Federation (IWBF), and the governing body's secretary general Maureen Orchard.

The Tokyo 2020 tournament was high on the agenda during the discussions with Muto also taking a "behind the scenes" tour of the Rio wheelchair basketball venue, the Rio Olympic Arena.

"I am really glad to be able to have had a meeting with IWBF President Ulf Mehrens and IWBF secretary general Maureen Orchard," said Muto. 

"It certainly gave me a number of ideas and images as to how to really build up the momentum for wheelchair basketball in Tokyo. 

"The meeting also allowed us to be able to start to exchange and discuss opinions going forward."

Wheelchair basketball in Tokyo will be held at the Musashino Forest Sport Centre, except for the finals which will be staged at Ariake Arena.

Full venues in Japan is one of the key aims for Muto.

Toshiro Muto wants full venues for the Tokyo 2020 wheelchair basketball tournaments ©Getty Images
Toshiro Muto wants full venues for the Tokyo 2020 wheelchair basketball tournaments ©Getty Images

"Having had a look at the games in Rio I know that wheelchair basketball is as exciting and interesting as the able-bodied basketball," he said.

"So I want to convey the excitement and the fun and interesting aspects of the wheelchair basketball at the Paralympics Games to the people of Tokyo and Japan so that they will come and fill the seats in the stadium.

"I’ve been very impressed by the Paralympic Games especially the wheelchair basketball event and I’ve really appreciated the opportunity to take a look at the back of house aspect before watching a wheelchair basketball game.

"I’ve learnt how interesting and exciting it is to watch the game itself and at the same time learnt about all the hard work that goes on behind the scenes, whether it is in the preparation or the little things that are implemented in order to make the games work. 

"So having learnt both aspects I have really come to experience the breadth and depth of work required behind the scenes as far as the Paralympic Games are concerned which certainly has excited me."

United States claimed a golden double in the Rio 2016 wheelchair basketball tournaments, by winning both the men's and women's events.

"It was a great opportunity to be able to meet the team from the Tokyo 2020 Organising Committee, especially the chief executive Mr Toshiro Muto," said Mehrens.

"This provided us a chance to begin a close working relationship with them which will help ensure that wheelchair basketball at Tokyo is managed and showcased in the optimum manner to realise our shared aspirations."