Boris Johnson flattens Toki, 10, during street rugby game

Boris Johnson knocked over a child during a game of street rugby in Japan.

The mayor of London took out the 10-year-old schoolboy as he raced down the mini turf pitch in Tokyo.

Toki Sekiguchi hit the ground, but was soon up and running again. He said: “I felt a little bit of pain, but it’s OK.” The schoolboy said it had been “enjoyable” meeting the mayor.

Johnson, a rugby fan, was hurtling down the pitch at speed with the ball when he ploughed into the little boy. The mayor went over to Toki and asked if he was OK, before shaking his hand. “I’m so sorry,” he added.

The pair posed for photos and Johnson handed over a rugby ball to Toki.

It is not the first time Johnson has collided with a youngster on the sports field.

Last year, he sent a nine-year-old tumbling to the floor during a football match.

The mayor had been taking part in the friendly as part of an initiative to get children involved in sport.

But Johnson tripped up the child, sparking cries of “referee” from the crowd.

In a speech to the British and American chambers of commerce in Tokyo, on the benefits of major sports events, Johnson said that he had “flattened” the boy and used the incident to draw parallels with the ups and downs of hosting the Olympic Games, which will be staged in Japan in 2020.

“We have just played a game of street rugby with a bunch of kids and I accidentally flattened a 10-year-old, on TV, unfortunately,” he said.

“But, he bounced back, he put it behind him, the smile returned rapidly to his face. That is my theme tonight, the possibility that confidence can suddenly and unexpectedly return.”

Johnson warned business leaders there would be a mood of “gloom” in the run-up to the Games, but said it would lift.

“For about a month, Britain was crop-dusted with serotonin and the Games themselves were utterly spectacular,” he added.

Rugby-mad Johnson was capping off his whistlestop trade mission to Japan by playing the game on the streets of Tokyo.

He took part in a game against child and adult players in an informal knockabout to mark the country’s preparations to host the next Rugby World Cup, in 2019.

The game has received a considerable boost in Japan on the back of the country’s shock victory last month over the might of South Africa at the Rugby World Cup in Britain.

Johnson was highlighting the benefits of staging major sporting events, following London’s success as an Olympic city, as well as its role in the current rugby tournament.

The 2012 Games left the English capital a “sensational legacy”, he said.

“We are both Olympic cities and I have no doubt that Tokyo is ideally placed to take our crown, currently unchallenged, as the city that staged the greatest ever Olympic and Paralympic Games.”


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