Leicester

Loughborough University not Team Japan's main base

Japan's Koji Murofushi celebrates victory
Image caption Japanese athletes are bringing a smaller team to Loughborough

Team Japan will not use Loughborough University as their main training base ahead of the London 2012 Olympics.

The Japanese Olympic Committee (JOC) signed a deal with the university in 2009 to base its athletes there in the run-up to the Games.

A spokesman for the university said Japan was now likely to bring a smaller contingent than originally anticipated.

He said it was down to individual sporting federations to decide where to base their athletes.

The number of Japanese athletes who might be located at the campus, in Leicestershire, is not yet known.

'Preparation camp'

Chris Earl, the director of sport at Loughborough University, said Team Japan are expected to use bases in London, Germany, the Netherlands and some will even stay in Japan.

He said: "The Japanese Olympic Committee's desire to sort out very early on a preparation camp in the UK was not matched by their ability to persuade their national governing bodies to use us."

The Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed between the JOC and Loughborough University in June 2009.

The deal meant Japan would not only be based at the campus but also help develop cultural and business links in the region and help raise Loughborough's international profile.

For the past three years the university has been teaching staff Japanese and inviting school children from the East Midlands to cultural awareness days.

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