Tokyo Games Officials Baffled by Venue Change Proposal

Sports

Tokyo/Sapporo, Oct. 17 (Jiji Press)--Officials of the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics organizing committee on Thursday expressed bewilderment over a proposal by the International Olympic Committee to move the marathon and race walking events of the 2020 Games to Sapporo in the northernmost Japan prefecture of Hokkaido, due to concerns about heat around Tokyo.

"I think the proposal was very abrupt," said Toshiro Muto, director-general of the organizing committee. He said he learned of the proposal quite recently.

As part of the tickets for watching the marathon events at the New National Stadium in central Tokyo, where the races are currently slated to start and end, have already been sold, Muto said the committee must work out ways to resolve problems that may arise as a result of the venue change, if it goes ahead.

"Municipalities hosting the courses have been charged up and making preparations," Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike told reporters. She then indicated a plan to call on the IOC to give sufficient explanations about its venue change proposal, which was announced on Wednesday and is set to be discussed at an IOC meeting in Tokyo between Oct. 30 and Nov. 1.

"We hope to talk (with the IOC) about what would be the best form" of holding the events, Koike added.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press