Tokyo 2020 Olympics the No.1 priority for Justin Rose

Justin Rose says his main focus for next year will be winning another Gold Medal at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.

Jack Seddon's picture
Wed, 13 Nov 2019
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In 2016, Justin Rose beat Henrik Stenson in the final day of golf - as the sport returned to the Olympics for the first time in 112 years - to win the Gold Medal, in what he believes is the 'biggest gift of his career'. With Tokyo 2020 just around the corner, the Englishman is focusing on adding another Gold to his collection.

Many of the world's elite in golf dropped out before the 2016 Olympics in Rio due to a breakout of the Zika virus and some scheduling issues, but that didn't stop Rose from competing and going on to win the Gold Medal.

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Rose will compete in the Open Championship at Royal St George's in July 2020, but just 72 hours after the awarding of the Claret Jug, Rose will be on a plane to Tokyo for the Olympics opening ceremony - something he believes many others should also do.

'It's a quick turnaround, but I'd encourage any golfer taking part to be at the opening ceremony,' he said. 'It's just so inspirational. Being part of Team GB, I think one of the reasons I played so well in Rio was because I got there early and could feel what it was all about.

'If I'd treated it as just another golf tournament, who knows what would have happened?'

Rose, who won his first major championship, the US Open, three years prior to winning a Gold Medal, has fond memories of the night he went to watch the gymnastics at the 2016 Games.

'I could not believe the chaos that they perform in and around,' he said.

'The noise, the announcements, the movement of other disciplines, trainers walking around the bars while someone is running at the vault. I just thought to myself, "God, we golfers are soft". Like, a marshal takes one step in the wrong direction…

'When the golf started, and 70 or 80 per cent wasn't a golf crowd, with cameras and a lot of noise, I thought of that night at the gymnastics.

'My pre-shot routine was like I was running for the vault — once I started, nothing was going to stop me, and I was going to play through anything that happened.' The crazy golf schedule, with four majors crammed into 14 weeks, becomes even more manic next year with the Olympics on top and then the Ryder Cup.

'It's going to be the year where you can't be all things to all people,' said Rose, whose 40th birthday just happens to fall on the day he will begin his Olympic defence.

'For me, the Olympics is going to be a huge part of what I prioritise, and the rest might just have to be a by-product of that mindset.'

Rose isn't the only player who has his eyes set on playing in Tokyo next year, with fellow Englishman Paul Casey also chasing his lifelong dream to represent his nation at the Olympic Games, while Tiger Woods has also made clear his intentions of securing a spot for the USA.

NEXT PAGE: Tiger Woods eyes up Tokyo 2020 Olympics

 

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