Japanese boxer Sewon Okazawa is pleasing a break from his preparation for the suspended Tokyo Olympic Games to help repair the damage done to his local gym. The 24-year-old has also set up a crowdfunding campaign to cover the costs of the repairs.
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Okazawa is set to compete in the welterweight category at his home Games but has turned his attention to fixing the gym which was hit by flooding. I want to give something back by helping return the gym to its usual condition. I never thought this would happen, I underestimated the threat of a disaster.
All four running machines at Okazawa’s gym in the city of Kanoya, Kagoshima Prefecture, were damaged by the flooding, which was caused by torrential rain, and memorabilia like gloves and banners were covered with mud
Speaking to Kyodo News, Okazawa said: “I want to go to the Olympics from this gym.
Situated in Kanoya in the southwestern prefecture of Kagoshima, the gym has been hit by torrential rain over the past week, causing damage to all four treadmills, while memorabilia like gloves and banners were covered in mud.
Last year, Okazawa reached the quarter-finals at the International Boxing Association World Boxing Championships and won a medal at the Asian Boxing Championships.
His achievement has come under the leadership of the gym’s head coach Shunya Aratake, who took the boxer in after he graduated from Tokyo’s Chuo University. He heads into the Tokyo Olympic with a strong chance of earning a medal.
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