A GOLD medal winner from the 1964 Olympics held in Tokyo believes the city deserves to host the games again.
Tokyo was announced as the venue for the 2020 summer games this week, meaning it will host the Olympics 56 years after the first occasion.
For Ken Matthews, 79, of Acton, Wrexham, the announcement has evoked memories of the 1964 games when he took gold in the 20km walk race.
Mr Matthews, who moved to Wrexham from Birmingham shortly after his Olympic triumph, still retains fond memories of the games being held in Japan and believes things will have moved on a lot by 2020.
He said: “It will be very different from 1964. Now they can fly there in a few hours but back then we had several flights and it took from Friday to Sunday to get there.
“The Japanese are very meticulous and I am sure they will again do a good job at hosting the Olympics. I am pleased they have been chosen again.
“I have seen the artist’s impressions for the stadium and it looks like they have got big plans for it.
“It is a long time since I won my gold medal there. Things have moved on a lot for athletes. At the time we had full-time jobs and we would be working during the day and training in the evening.”
Mr Matthews, who attended the opening ceremony of the 2012 games in London, does not anticipate returning to the scene of his greatest triumph in 2020.
“I will be 86 then,” said Mr Matthews, a retired electrical maintenance engineer.
“It would be nice to go back and see the sites again but I don’t think it will happen.”
Mr Matthews, who also competed in the 1960 Olympics in Rome, has fond memories of the Japanese people.
“They were very polite, welcoming and smartly dressed,” he said. “Some people might say they were over the top but that was just the way they were.
“You would see Japanese people meeting each other in the street and they would be bowing to each other.
“In some respects you could see they were an advanced country, such as with their transport system. I remember how busy things were and you could see them literally pushing people onto their trains.
“Our accommodation was a bit crowded. There were four of us in a small room. But it was a good time and it was good to meet people from other countries.”
Mr Matthews set a new Olympic record of 89 minutes and 34.6 seconds to claim his gold medal.
The triumph also made headlines due to his wife Sheila getting through a trackside gate and running over to throw her arms around her husband.
After his Olympic glory, Mr Matthews switched his focus to time track cycling.
Mr Matthews remains the last British athlete to win an Olympic gold medal in race walking, with interest in the sport having declined in Britain in the past 50 years.