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Olympic delay trips up Asics' race against Nike

Athletic-shoe maker postpones launch of latest running shoe

Asics had hoped to make great strides against Nike in 2020, only to see its plans upended by the pandemic. (Photo by Mariko Saito)

OSAKA -- Asics had anticipated a banner year in the run-up to what would have been this summer's Olympic Games in Tokyo, planning to release its first carbon-plated shoe in Japan on April 17 in a direct challenge to its chief competitor, Nike.

But like a torn Achilles tendon, the coronavirus outbreak put a halt to those plans -- forcing the company's stores to shut and the games to be postponed. Yet some investors are betting on a dramatic comeback by the time the Olympics are held in 2021.

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