Tokyo Organizers, Ioc To Discuss Venue Change

Tokyo organizers, IOC to discuss venue change

The director general of the organizing committee for the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games has indicated that a broad decision on moving the marathon and race walking to Sapporo will be made around the end of the month.

Toshiro Muto spoke to NHK on Thursday after the International Olympic Committee announced it was considering relocating the two events to the northern city to provide cooler conditions for the athletes.

Muto said the matter will be discussed at a meeting of the IOC Coordination Commission in Tokyo from October 30 to November 1.

He ruled out spending too much time on discussing the issue and said an answer would be reached at the meeting.

Muto said the IOC had very recently proposed the plan to the Tokyo committee.

The IOC pointed out that temperatures during the Games will be 5 to 6 degrees cooler in Sapporo than in Tokyo.

Muto said the IOC is strongly requesting the venue change from the viewpoint of putting the athletes first. But he added that consideration must also be given to the Tokyo Metropolitan Government, which is preparing for the Games. He said he intends to hold talks with Tokyo and Sapporo before the IOC Coordinating Commission meeting.

The Tokyo committee is expected to promptly study what should be done about the already-sold tickets, as well as any budgetary and transportation problems that may arise from a possible venue change.

A director of the Japan Association of Athletics Federations, Tadasu Kawano, says it is only natural for the IOC to take the athletes' health into consideration. But he added that coaches may be perplexed by the proposal.

Kawano also said the association's secretariat will discuss the choice of venues and courses in Sapporo with the organizing committee.