The opening ceremony for the summer national high school championships was held Thursday at the Asty Tokushima convention center in Tokushima.
This summer’s inter-high competitions take place mainly in the Shikoku region’s four prefectures, and will have live audiences for the first time in three years. However, there will be limits on spectator numbers due to the increase in novel coronavirus infections. Only athletes from selected disciplines were allowed to attend the opening ceremony, to avoid group infection.
“I hope you will show the fruits of your everyday efforts, while also paying attention to preventive measures against the virus,” said Crown Prince Akishino in an address at the ceremony. Crown Princess Kiko also attended.
The athlete’s oath was given by Nanami Kitayama, a third-year student of Tomiokahigashi High School in Anan, Tokushima Prefecture, who is a member of the girls’ volleyball team at the school.
“In this last summer of my high school days, I will give my all while thinking about my three years at school,” she said, representing all the participating high school athletes from 47 prefectures.
About 210 high school students from Tokushima gave dance performances, including the prefecture’s Awa-odori traditional dance. The theme of the performances was the famous pilgrimage in the region.
The inter-high championships will continue through Aug. 23 with competitions in 30 disciplines, including soccer and swimming.
The inter-high competition is jointly hosted by the All Japan High School Athletic Federation and The Yomiuri Shimbun.