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Olympic organisers announce on time completion of all Tokyo 2020 venues

Olympic organisers announce on time completion of all Tokyo 2020 venues
March 16, 2020

The Tokyo Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games has announced the completion of all new permanent venues for this year’s Games, as they continue to deal with the challenges presented by the Coronavirus.

The Organising Committee announced last week that the construction of the Tokyo Aquatics Centre, undertaken by the Tokyo Metropolitan Government (TMG), was completed on schedule at the end of February.

A total of 43 venues - eight new permanent venues, 25 existing facilities and 10 temporary venues - will be used at the Tokyo 2020 Games.

TMG has borne the responsibility for seven of the eight new permanent venues, with the exception of the National Stadium, which officially opened in December and is being handled by Japan Sports Council.

Musashino Forest Sport Plaza was the first of the eight to be completed in March 2017, with Ariake Arena the last to open its doors prior to the Tokyo Aquatics Centre.

With the completion of all new permanent venues, the Organising Committee said the overall preparation of all venues is progressing on schedule.

However, Tokyo 2020 and the International Olympic Committee (IOC) having to address increasing speculation over how the spread of Coronavirus will affect this year’s Olympics.

Tokyo Organising Committee President, Yoshiro Mori has recently stated that the challenges presented by Coronavirus “make me feel even more strongly about not losing the fight.”

Mori told the Associated Press news agency “of course we are worried. But the (Japanese) Government is doing its utmost to battle the situation, and scientists are fighting against the challenges. I believe in the power of human beings and the efforts from around the world. But that doesn’t mean will just wait and hope.”

Referring to the potential for changes, Mori added “the Tokyo Olympics should be held even if parts of it have to be modified. But it does not mean we will scale it down.”

The Coronavirus outbreak has meant that the official opening of the Aquatics Centre will not be held on 22nd March. Instead, the venue will be inaugurated at a rescheduled event to be held without members of the public.

Costing ¥56.7 billion (US$523 million), the 15,000-capacity venue will feature a 50 metres pool during the Olympic and Paralympic Games and will be used for artistic swimming, diving and swimming competitions.

A moveable wall ensures it can be converted into two 25 metre pools.

The Aquatics Centre is expected to hold international and national swimming events following the Games.

The eight new venues for the Tokyo Games are:

• Musashino Forest Sport Plaza (Completed March 2017).
• Yumenoshima Park Archery Field (February2019).
• Sea Forest Waterway (May 2019).
• Kasai Canoe Slalom Centre (May 2019).
• Oi Hockey Stadium (June 2019).
• Olympic Stadium Japan (November 2019).
• Ariake Arena (December 2019).
• Tokyo Aquatics Centre (February 2020).

Of the 43 Games venues – of which 25 are existing facilities and 10 temporary venues - will be used at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics. With the completion of all new permanent venues, the overall preparation of all venues is progressing on schedule.

Images: The Tokyo Aquatics Centre (top) and the Oi Hockey Stadium (below).

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