The Road to Tokyo: A week in quotes

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Athletes around the world have been busily preparing themselves with just eight months until the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

Tokyo 2020 has been speaking to several athletes whose journey to the Olympic and Paralympic Games is slowly gathering pace.

'I’ve caused concern to those around me and every time they’ve come to my aid’: MOMOTA Kento out for Tokyo 2020 redemption

I knew what I was lacking, but didn’t have enough time.

By gaining an extra year, I can keep pursuing those goals.

It was one year ago that MOMOTA Kento survived a serious car accident while abroad participating in a tournament and with the Olympic Games fast approaching it was a tough period for the Japanese athlete. Then the Tokyo 2020 Games were postponed. Discover how he was able to maintain his positivity during a challenging year.

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KIMURA Keiichi set to take on the world with glowing confidence

After Rio, I knew somewhere in my heart that I would do it [again], that I wanted to do it.

The fact that the Paralympics would be held in Tokyo was also a big deciding factor.

Despite the postponement, Para swimmer KIMURA Keiichi, goal of competing at the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games have not changed. It was a failure to win gold at the Rio 2016 Games - where he won four medals - that has spurred the 30-year-old to continue developing his skills.

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'I will spare no effort as I head into each match': ABE Uta eyes winning gold to fulfill family’s Olympic dream

I didn’t talk about the Olympics.

Since I was the only one who had been selected, I viewed the training as both of us working towards our goals, rather than in preparation for the Olympics.

Siblings ABE Uta and brother ABE Hifumi have their sights set on the Tokyo 2020 Games. For Uta, the extra years has given her more time to polish her skills, while waiting for her brother to secure a spot on the national team. But with a victory in an unprecedented one-off bout, Hifumi claimed the a spot.

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'Mentally I was going through a tough time': Hometown hero SERYU Monika strives to be a symbol of hope

Little by little it started to hit me like small body blows.

Tournaments were being cancelled, and I lost sight of what I was working so hard towards.

With the hope that the Tokyo 2020 Games will be a beacon of light, para canoeist SERYU Monika struggled with the realities of the postponement of the Paralympic Games. Her source of “light” was her fellow athletes.

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'I don’t want to have any regrets': NOGUCHI Akiyo prepares for her first and last Olympic Games

For myself, and for all athletes, the Olympic Games is a symbol of hope.

If it were cancelled, we would have no goals, no dreams to pursue. We would be questioning ourselves...

NOGUCHI Akiyo has remained optimistic with Tokyo 2020 presenting an opportunity for her to become the first-ever sport climbing Olympic champion. However, despite being a pioneer and leading contender in the sport, Noguchi has decided to make Tokyo 2020 her last competition.

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200 days to go: Kevin Mayer 'I can’t think about anything else but Tokyo 2020!'

Kevin Mayer of France reacts during the Men's Decathlon Long Jump during the 24th European Athletics Championships on 7 August 2018 (Photo by Matthias Hangst/Getty Images)
Kevin Mayer of France reacts during the Men's Decathlon Long Jump during the 24th European Athletics Championships on 7 August 2018 (Photo by Matthias Hangst/Getty Images)
2018 Getty Images

What I miss is wearing the French team jersey and expressing myself in a big championship.

That’s even truer for the Olympic Games, because for me they are the biggest event in my career.

French decathlete Kevin Mayer is a world champion and world record-holder but there is one thing on his mind: winning gold at the Olympic Games this year. Marking 200 days until the Opening Ceremony, the Rio 2016 silver medallist spoke with Tokyo 2020 about his love of both his sport and Japanese culture.

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Cody Everson believes the Black Wheels are the dark horses at Tokyo 2020

Cody Eversons (c) poses with other New Zealand Paralympic athletes for a photo during the Paralympics New Zealand '1 year to go' to Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games event
Cody Eversons (c) poses with other New Zealand Paralympic athletes for a photo during the Paralympics New Zealand '1 year to go' to Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games event
2019 Getty Images

I think a few guys were a bit emotional because they wanted it for so long and they were at the end of the career and now they can finally say that they're going to be a Paralympian.

It's been 13 years since New Zealand's Wheelchair Rugby team has competed at the Paralympic Games but co-captain Cody Everson, who had dreams of becoming an All Black, has hopes the team will be the dark horses of the tournament that features heavyweights and trans-Tasman rivals Australia.

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Sara Groenewegen: The field of dreams

LIMA, PERU - AUGUST 10: Sara Angeline Groenewegen of Canada pitches against United States during the second inning Softball Women Grand Final at Softball Field of Complejo Deportivo Villa Maria del Triunfo on Day 15 of Lima 2019 Pan American Games on August 10, 2019 in Lima, Peru. (Photo by Leonardo Fernandez/Getty Images)
LIMA, PERU - AUGUST 10: Sara Angeline Groenewegen of Canada pitches against United States during the second inning Softball Women Grand Final at Softball Field of Complejo Deportivo Villa Maria del Triunfo on Day 15 of Lima 2019 Pan American Games on August 10, 2019 in Lima, Peru. (Photo by Leonardo Fernandez/Getty Images)
2019 Getty Images

Me being stubborn is what saved my life.

And me being an athlete is what saved my life.

Having survived a battle with Legionnaires disease that left her in a coma for 10 days, Team Canada's Sara Groenewegen spoke to Tokyo 2020 about how she is aiming for gold when softball returns to the OIympic programme next year.

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Niger's Abdoul Razak Issoufou aiming to become nations first Olympic champion

Abdoulrazak Issoufou of Niger competes against Dmitriy Shokin of Uzbekistan during the Men's +80kg Semi-final Taekwondo match at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
Abdoulrazak Issoufou of Niger competes against Dmitriy Shokin of Uzbekistan during the Men's +80kg Semi-final Taekwondo match at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
2016 Getty Images

I want to win gold in Tokyo for the Nigerien people

After becoming a national hero in his home country of Niger Abdoul Razak Issoufou when he clinched silver at Rio 2016, the taekwondo star is now looking to etch his name into the history books at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020.

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