Yoshinori Sakai

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Yoshinori Sakai (坂井 義則 Sakai Yoshinori?, born in Miyoshi, Hiroshima, Japan, August 6, 1945 – September 10, 2014) was the Olympic flame torchbearer who lit the cauldron at the 1964 Summer Olympic Games in Tokyo.

Sakai was born on the day of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima.

He was chosen for the role to symbolize Japan's postwar reconstruction and peace. At the time he was a member of Waseda University's running club.

The nineteen-year-old was coached in the ceremonial duty by Teruji Kogake, a triple jump world record-holder turned coach.[1] He never actually competed in the Olympics.

After the Olympic games, he won a gold medal in 1600 m relay and a silver in 400 m at 1966 Asian Games in Bangkok. He joined Fuji Television in 1968 as a journalist and worked mainly in the fields of news and sports.[2]

He died of cerebral bleeding in Tokyo on September 10, 2014.[3]


  1. ^ Tokyo 2016 website
  2. ^ Masuda, Masafumi (2004). "JOC - 東京オリンピックから40年 (Forty years from Tokyo Olympics)" (in Japanese). Archived from the original on 2008-04-23. Retrieved 2008-08-12. 
  3. ^ "1964 Tokyo Olympic torch runner Sakai dies at 69". Mainichi. Kyodo. September 10, 2014. Retrieved September 11, 2014. 
Olympic Games
Preceded by
Giancarlo Peris
Final Summer Olympic Torchbearer
Tokyo 1964
Succeeded by
Norma Enriqueta Basilio de Sotelo