Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Tokyo Delivers Its Bid For a Compact Olympics

http://sankei.jp.msn.com/sports/other/090213/oth0902131857018-n1.htm

translated by Brett Larner

On Feb. 13 the 2016 Tokyo Olympics Bid Committee submitted its plan for "the most compact arrangement of facilities in Olympic history," an Olympics designed "from the athletes' point of view." The planned marathon course includes both the 1964 and 2016 Olympic stadiums, a route designed "to encompass the full sweep of [Tokyo's Olympic] history."

The new Olympic stadium, desgined to hold 100,000 spectators with a permanent seating capacity of 80,000, will be built in Tokyo's Harumi district in Chuo Ward and is intended to be the heart of Tokyo's facilities. With the exception of shooting events and soccer, all other competitions are planned to take place within an 8 km radius of the new Olympic stadium. Of the 34 proposed sites, 23 will make use of already-existing venues.

The marathon course in particular captures the spirit of Tokyo's Olympic bid. The proposed course begins at Tokyo's 1964 Olympic Stadium, travelling to the Imperial Palace where athletes will run three loops of a 10 km circuit through Akihabara and Ginza before finishing at the new Olympic Stadium in Harumi, spanning the distance from the old to the new Tokyo Olympics. Making use of part of the course for Asia's largest marathon, the Tokyo Marathon, the proposed Olympic marathon route will run through many of the Tokyo's most popular tourist sites in the heart of the city.

Japan Olympic Committee (JOC) president Tsunekazu Takeda stated, "With 95% of the venues located within an 8 km radius our arrangements are compact and efficient. We will listen to the critiques from every international federation and make whatever improvements necessary to give the athletes the best experience possible."

2 comments:

TokyoRacer said...

I have two negative reactions. First, a three-loop course means that only one-third as many people will be able to see the runners. You know that for an Olympic marathon in Tokyo, the entire 42 kms would be packed. Those streets on the loop are going to be like a commuter train at rush hour. Dangerous to your health!
However, this is a moot point, because there is NO WAY the IOC is going to choose an Asian city just 8 years after Beijing. It just will not happen. Mayor Ishihara is wasting our money in order to raise his own profile. Even if (when) Tokyo loses, he can say, "Well, people of Tokyo, I did my best for you." Yeah, with our money.

Brett Larner said...

Bob--
I read somewhere that the IAAF (?) is trying to encourage this type of course for championship races. Berlin will use a loop course for the World Champs this summer, and Helsinki did it in 2005.

I agree with you about the Tokyo bid being too soon after Beijing, though; for the same reason Madrid may suffer for being right after London.