Kyodo sports news summary

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TOKYO, Jan. 8 (23:08) Kyodo

Olympics: Gov. Inose says Tokyo bid much stronger for 2020 than 2016

TOKYO - Tokyo Gov. Naoki Inose has stressed the nation's
determination to host the 2020 Olympics is night and day compared to
what it was in the bid for the 2016 Summer Games.

Tokyo lost to Rio de Janeiro four years ago in the race for 2016
under Inose's predecessor Shintaro Ishihara, who stepped down in
October to move back into national politics.

Olympics: JOC President promises quake-proof Games in Tokyo

TOKYO - Japanese Olympic Committee President Tsunekazu Takeda
said Tuesday that the 2020 Tokyo Olympics would be a completely
quake-proof Games, guaranteeing the city will hold up in the event of
another seismic catastrophe like the one on March 11, 2011.

Tokyo's chances of landing the hosting rights for the 2020
Summer Games are better than they were in the bid for the 2016
Olympics that went to Rio de Janeiro, but fears that another major
earthquake could hit Japan are still prevalent among the
international community.

Tennis: Nishikori pulls out of Australian Open warm-up event

MELBOURNE, Jan. 8 Kyodo - Japan's Kei Nishikori said Tuesday he
has withdrawn from the Kooyong Classic, an event that was to be his
final warm-up for next week's Australian Open.

The 23-year-old decided to bow out after holding a practice the
same day. He was to face world No. 6 Tomas Berdych on Wednesday.

Baseball: WBC staff seeks no replacement for Yoshimi

TOKYO - Japan World Baseball Classic manager Koji Yamamoto
confirmed on Tuesday that for the time being he will not invite
another player to replace Chunichi Dragons ace Kazuki Yoshimi, who
has opted out of the tournament due to elbow trouble.

A day after Yoshimi said he would not take part, Yamamoto met
with his coaching staff as scheduled in Tokyo, where they decided on
their schedule from Feb. 1, the day Nippon Professional Baseball
teams begin spring training.

Golf: Ishikawa works on new swing

TOKYO - Ryo Ishikawa is working on a new swing that will
hopefully reduce the strain on his lower back, he told a press
conference on Tuesday.

Following an event to thank his fans attended by about 300
people, the 23-year-old revealed that he had suffered from lower back
trouble last summer. Although an MRI revealed no damage, a doctor
indicated Ishikawa's swing was putting a strain on his lower back.

Gymnastics: Japanese Beijing Olympian banned 3 months for doping

TOKYO - The Japan Anti-Doping Agency handed Beijing Olympic
rhythmic gymnast Nara Misawa a three-month suspension on Monday.

According to JADA, Misawa tested positive in November at the
All-Japan championships for the banned stimulant methylephedrine,
which can be found in cold medicine. The 23-year-old Misawa finished
22nd in the overall competition at nationals.

Soccer: Kofu acquire F Marinos defender Aoyama

TOKYO - Ventforet Kofu, who will be promoted to the J-League's
first division this season, said Tuesday they have signed Yokohama F
Marinos defender Naoaki Aoyama.

The 26-year-old Aoyama has scored five goals in 138 top league
matches. Aoyama played in seven games last season, starting four
times in the closing weeks.

High school boy kills himself after physical punishment by teacher

OSAKA - A 17-year-old senior high school student in Osaka
committed suicide after being physically punished by his basketball
club adviser in late December, the Osaka City Board of Education said

The 47-year-old adviser at Sakuranomiya Senior High School
admitted to punishing the boy and apologized to the student's family,
the board said.

PM Abe pledges full support for Tokyo's 2020 Olympics bid

TOKYO - Prime Minister Shinzo Abe Tuesday vowed to give his full
backing to Tokyo's bid to host the 2020 Olympic Games as the Japan
Olympic Committee submitted a candidature file in Switzerland.

"The Cabinet will put its full weight behind the bid. What is
important is to heighten the level of public support (for the
event)," Abe told JOC chairman Tsunekazu Takeda in their meeting at
the prime minister's office that was open to the press.

Soccer: Morimoto bound for UAE club: Reports

MILAN - Multiple Italian media sources reported Monday that
Japanese striker Takayuki Morimoto was set to move from Serie A side
Catania to United Arab Emirates club Al Nasr. Catania has made no
official announcement.

Al Nasr is coached by Morimoto's former manager at Catania,
Walter Zenga. Giuseppe Mascara, who played alongside Morimoto at
Catania, is also currently with Al Nasr.

Soccer: Frontale picks up pair of players from relegated clubs

TOKYO - J-League first-division side Kawasaki Frontale on
Tuesday announced they had signed a pair of players whose clubs have
been relegated to the second division.

The 30-year-old defender Sota Nakazawa leaves Gamba Osaka, where
he scored two goals in 19 games last year, while 25-year-old Masaki
Yamamoto moves from Consadole Sapporo. The midfielder scored three
goals last season in 25 games.

Soccer: Cerezo Osaka sign former Frontale midfielder Kusukami

OSAKA - J-League first-division side Cerezo Osaka announced the
signing of 25-year-old midfielder Jumpei Kusukami on Tuesday.

Kusukami scored five goals in 28 J1 games last season. He joined
Frontale in 2010 after playing a game for them as a special
designated player in 2009. He has nine career league goals, one in
the Nabisco Cup and three in the Emperor's Cup.

Tennis: Date-Krumm, Moriya fall in Sydney 2nd round

TOKYO - Japan's Kimiko Date-Krumm and Ayumi Morita were both
knocked out of the Apia International Sydney with second-round
defeats on Tuesday.

Date-Krumm lost to top seed Agnieszka Radwanska of Poland 6-4,
6-3, while Morita fell 6-1, 6-0 to Chinese No. 4 seed Li Na in
blistering heat in Sydney in a tournament that is the lead-up event
to next week's Australian Open.

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