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Olympics: Tokyo 2020 chief under fire over Japan skate idol gaffe

Published on Feb 21, 2014 5:05 PM
 
Japan's Mao Asada reacts at the end of her program during the Figure Skating Women's free skating Program at the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics, Feb 20, 2014. A backlash erupted on Friday, Feb 21, 2014, over sneering by the boss of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic committee about Japanese figure-skating heroine Mao Asada after her performance flopped in Sochi. -- PHOTO: REUTERS

TOKYO (AFP) - A backlash erupted on Friday over sneering by the boss of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic committee about Japanese figure-skating heroine Mao Asada after her performance flopped in Sochi.

Media, fans and fellow athletes hit out after former prime minister Yoshiro Mori, who now heads the body charged with organising the 2020 summer Games, poured scorn on Asada following a disastrous routine in Russia.

"That girl, she always falls over whenever it's important," he sniped on Thursday amid widespread disappointment after Asada slipped on her trademark triple Axel jump to end the night in a lowly 16th position.

Mori, whose short stint as premier was characterised by regular bouts of foot-in-mouth disease, said the out-of-form skater should have withdrawn from the team competition.

 
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