Tokyo, Sept. 11 (Jiji Press)–The government Friday decided to appoint Koji Murofushi, 45, the men’s hammer throw gold medalist in the 2004 Athens Olympics, as commissioner of the Japan Sports Agency.
The appointment, decided at a cabinet meeting, will take effect Oct. 1.
Daichi Suzuki, who has served as the agency’s head since its establishment in 2015, will leave office at the end of his term.
A native of the central Japan prefecture of Shizuoka, Murofushi became the first Japanese to win a gold medal in an Olympic throwing event in the 2004 Games.
Even before his retirement from competitions in 2016, Murofushi took up several important positions, including director of the Japan Association of Athletics Federations and professor at Tokyo Medical and Dental University.
Since 2014, he has been serving as sports director of the Tokyo Organizing Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games.
According to informed sources, the government picked Murofushi based on his achievements as an athlete and his international work experience.
Murofushi’s abilities to train athletes for the postponed Tokyo Games, which will be held next summer, and promote sports after the event will be put to the test.
At a news conference after the cabinet meeting, Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics minister Seiko Hashimoto expressed her expectations about Murofushi.
“He has worked hard to train the next generation. I’m sure he will publicize the significance and value of sports widely, beyond the boundaries of the sports world,” Hashimoto said. “We want to work with him.”