Skip to main content

Temporary Track Still Planned for New Olympic Stadium - "No Land Nearby"

http://www.nikkansports.com/general/news/1522682.html

translated by Brett Larner

Despite strong demands from JAAF officials for a permanent sub-track to be included in forthcoming revised plans for the New National Stadium that will be the flagship venue of the 2020 Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games, on Aug. 13 it was confirmed that only a temporary sub-track will be built.

On July 29 JAAF officials including chairman Hiroshi Yokokawa and executive board member Naoko Takahashi visited Olympic Games Committee executive Toshiaki Endo to confirm the status of the plans for a sub-track and stress the importance of a permanent one from a former athlete's point of view.  However, multiple government officials told them that there were no plans for a permanent sub-track, saying, "There is no land nearby [for a permanent sub-track], so there is no chance but to stick with the original plans for a temporary sub-track."

Without a permanent sub-track the new stadium will not be able to be used to host either international events like the World Championships or national-level events like the National Sports Festival, National High School Championships and National Junior High School Championships.  Takahashi commented, "Not being able to hold the National Sports Festival or High School Nationals after the Olympics is a fatal mistake."

On Aug. 14 the government is hosting a ministerial meeting chaired by Endo to finalize the essential policies for the revised New National Stadium plans.  Although the sub-track is not yet referred to as "temporary" therein, it is expected to be labeled as such in the revised construction budget plans to be released later this month.  The temporary track is likely to be built inside the grounds of a nearby softball facility.

Translator's note: Largely as a consequence of the major running boom in Japan since 2007 brought about by the Tokyo Marathon, itself originally conceived of as a way to demonstrate that Tokyo was competent to host a modern Olympics, there is a major shortage of public track facilities in central Tokyo.  The lone 8-lane, 400 m track regularly accessible to the public, Shibuya's Oda Field, has undergone increasingly frequent resurfacing due to the increased traffic and the resulting wear-and-tear and is said to be scheduled to be closed for another round of resurfacing from this October through next March, leaving the countless running clubs and independents from amateur to pro, junior high school to corporate national champions, who use it with few to no options for relocating their regular workouts.  Beyond the JAAF's apparent concern exclusively about the consequences for its ability to stage elite events, with such enormous demand for more public facilities it is absolutely irresponsible for the Tokyo Olympic Committee to not take the steps necessary to ensure that the healthy fitness-oriented lifestyle enjoyed by countless thousands of Tokyo residents remains as a key legacy of the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games.

Comments

TokyoRacer said…
Oh no, they're closing our track for six months??!! I hope some of the clubs start organizing a protest about that. It shouldn't take six months, for crissake.
That is the ONLY track available free to the public in Tokyo, and it's not even available every day.
A perfect time to showcase the beauty of Ajinomoto and/or Fuchu venues:) Hope it gets sorted or you'll need to go old school and find off track alternatives. Best, Mike

Most-Read This Week

Kusu Runs Steeplechase World-Leading Time, Yabuta and Yoshimura Break National Records, Tanaka Just Misses Fukushi's NR - Kitami and Liege Highlights

Wednesday afternoon and evening saw the fourth meet in this year's five-part Hokuren Distance Challenge series, this time in the town of Kitami. The program included the little-raced 2000 m steeplechase as a tuneup for Monday's series-closing Abashiri meet, and in both the women's and men's races the national records went down. A top collegiate steepler while at Kyoto Sangyo University, Yui Yabuta (Otsuka Seiyaku) ran 6:27.74 to break the women's record. In the men's race 1500 m specialist Yasunari Kusu (Ami AC) surprised many by breaking the Japanese national record with a world-leading 5:31.82 despite little experience in the steeple.

The women's 3000 m in Kitami was more explicitly set up as a national record attempt, with four of the ten fastest Japanese women ever over the distance lined up to gun for the great Kayoko Fukushi's 8:44.40 record dating back to 2002. From the gun it was out at NR pace, with pacers Hellen Ekalale (Toyota Jidoshokki) an…

Lemeteki and Aoki Win Shibestu Half

Kenyan Razini Lemeteki (Takushoku Univ.) and relative unknown Nanami Aoki (Iwatani Sangyo) took the top spots in hot and sunny conditions at the Shibetsu Half Marathon in Hokkaido. With Kenta Murayama (Asahi Kasei) doing early frontrunning in the men's race only to fade to a 20th-place finish in 1:06:40 Lemeteki had little competition for the win in 1:03:25. 2017 Shibetsu winner Tsubasa Hayakawa (Toyota) was the top Japanese man at 2nd in 1:03:42, beating MGC Race Olympic marathon trials qualifiers Daichi Kamino (New Balance) and Naoki Okamoto (Chugoku Denryoku) - by 4 seconds and 11 seconds. Other MGC Race qualifiers Masato Imai (Toyota Jidoshokki), Yuji Iwata (MHPS) and Ryo Kiname (MHPS) all struggled, none of them breaking 66 minutes.

Aoki won the women's race easily in 1:15:12 by almost a minute over Mai Nagaoka (Sysmex). MGC Race qualifiers Reia Iwade (Under Armour) and Keiko Nogami (Juhachi Ginko) were listed to start but apparently did not run.
33rd Suffolkland Shibets…

Japan Tops Universiade Medal Count With 33 Golds

A global celebration of university student sports, the closing ceremonies for 30th anniversary Summer Universiade took place July 14 in Napoli, Italy to bring 12 days of competition across a range of collegiate sports. Japanese athletes took part in all 15 categories of competition, winning a total of 33 gold medals to rank #1 worldwide in the medal count standings. Japanese athletes also won 21 silver medals and 28 bronze for a total of 82 medals overall, also ranking #1. Russia scored 82 medals total but had 22 golds, with China 3rd at 22 golds and 43 medals overall. The U.S.A. was 4th.

Just before the start of the closing ceremonies, Japanese delegation leader Ichiro Hoshino gave a positive evaluation of the teams's performance, saying, "I believe that our athletes in each area of competition carried their weight to help achieve this excellent result, and that that will provide momentum in Tokyo 2020." The next Summer Universiade takes place in Chengdu, China in 2021…