Tokyo 2020: Golf course bows to pressure over female membership

Rio 2016 Olympic silver medallist Lydia Ko of New Zealand had been among the top names to speak out against the rules at the Kasumigaseki Country Club

Rio 2016 Olympic silver medallist Lydia Ko of New Zealand had been among the top names to speak out against the rules at the Kasumigaseki Country Club

The club that will be used to host golf competition at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games has changed its rules to make women eligible for full membership.

"I'd like to extend my gratitude to the members of the club for their understanding and cooperation", he said in a statement.

The Kasumigaseki Country Club risked being stripped of the event if it did not change its membership policy, after being warned by the International Olympic Committee earlier this month.

Kasumigaseki Country Club voted to permanently change its membership policy today at an extraordinary meeting of its Executive Board.

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

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Mori also praised the "short period of time" in which the agreement had been reached, but not before the public outcry. The membership policy came under scrutiny when Tokyo Gov. Yuriko Koike urged it to admit women as full members.

IOC vice president John Coates had last month said that organisers would seek an alternative venue if the club could not achieve gender equality and Olympic chief Thomas Bach reiterated the governing body's stance last week.

This was (obviously) the right move for the club which will now get to retain men's and women's golf in 2020 when it should be even more successful than it was in 2016.

Earlier this year the Japan Golf Council urged the International Olympic Committee to switch venues for the 2020 Olympics Games golf tournaments.

The Royal and Ancient (R&A), who organise The Open Championship, had axed Muirfield from their list of venues after members at the club made a decision to uphold their rules on not allowing women to join. The famed Augusta National Country Club, which hosts the Masters golf tournament in Augusta, Georgia, every April, admitted former Secretary Of State Condoleezza Rice and prominent private investor Darla Moore as its first female members in 2012.

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