Olympics: 2020 golf venue to allow full membership to women

SPORTS

The embattled golf venue for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics said Monday it decided to change its rules to allow women to become full members.

The decision was made at an extraordinary meeting of Kasumigaseki Country Club's executive board held in Kawagoe, Saitama Prefecture following calls by the International Olympic Committee to ensure nondiscriminatory regulations.

The golf club, set to host the men's and women's golf competitions at the 2020 Olympics -- had come under fire for its policy of not allowing women to become full members or to play on Sundays, after Tokyo Gov. Yuriko Koike raised the issue in January.

The club's board met Feb. 7 to discuss the matter and then held three meetings with full members to explain the situation and hear their views.

Although there were various arguments from the approximately 1,200 full members of the nearly 90-year-old facility, its board moved to accept requests from the IOC and other related parties in consideration that it will stage competitions of a major international sport event.

Yoshiro Mori, president of the 2020 Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic organizing committee, said he is pleased with the move that keeps with the spirit of the Olympic charter.

"I'd like to extend my gratitude to the members of the club for their understanding and cooperation," Mori said in a statement. "I also would like to express my admiration for the club's endeavor to come to an agreement in such a short period of time."

The 2020 organizing committee, the Japanese Olympic Committee and the Japan Golf Association said in a joint statement that they will continue to work on preparations toward delivering successful competitions in three years' time.

==Kyodo

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