Tokyo 2020 holds torch relay rehearsal in Hamura

Tokyo 2020 Olympic mascot Miraitowa attends the Tokyo 2020 Torch Relay 300 Days To Go event at the Tokyo Midtown on June 01, 2019 in Tokyo, Japan. (Photo by Christopher Jue/Getty Images)

Tokyo 2020 organisers rehearsed the upcoming Olympic torch relay in Hamura City at the weekend, with hundreds of people lining the streets to watch the event.

Runners carried unlit Olympic torches for around 200 metres each in three cities in Tokyo on Saturday, as organisers went over preparations for the 121-day relay that begins on March 26. Actress Satomi Ishihara, who has been selected to take part in the Olympic torch relay, ran the third segment of the rehearsal in Hamura.

Tokyo 2020 spokesman Masa Takaya told Reuters: “There are many purposes of the rehearsal. Today’s rehearsal is focused on the entire operation. This will be the first and last time we do it.

“We want to check every aspect of it (the rehearsal) so we see this as an important opportunity.”

Another official told local media: “Conducting the dress rehearsal allowed us to find things we need to work on. Starting and finishing the relay according to the schedule is necessary…

“We need to continue working with organisers of each prefecture.”

The relay begins in Fukushima and will visit all 47 of Japan’s prefectures ahead of the July 24 Olympics opening ceremony. Included on the relay itinerary are iconic attractions such as Mount Fuji and Kumamoto Castle.