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  • Coates Praises Tokyo 2020 Progress


    (ATR) IOC Tokyo 2020 Coordination Commission chair John Coates says organizers “should all be very proud” of the progress of the Olympic venues.

    Coates, center, and Mori, left, receive updates from the head of Japan Racing, right (ATR)
    Coates and Tokyo 2020 President Yoshiro Mori were given a tour of the equestrian venue in the Setagaya neighborhood of Tokyo. The venue is located on a park that hosted equestrian events for the 1964 Olympics.

    There Coates told reporters that the CoComm had visited the under-construction National Stadium and the Musashino Forest Sport Plaza. The latter will host badminton and preliminary rounds of Modern Pentathlon.

    “[The equestrian site] is a very, very impressive venue and it is also very pleasing to us that it is on the site of the ‘64 venue for these two disciplines,” Coates said.

    “I’d also like to thank publicly Japan Racing for their significant, if I understand correctly, contribution towards the costs of this venue. Thank you I think you should all be very proud of this venue.”

    Before the CoComm’s arrival in Tokyo Coates said he toured the Sea Forest complex, visiting the rowing, canoe sprint, and equestrian cross country venues. The complex is being built on reclaimed land in Tokyo Bay.

    Coates singled out the cross country venue as a positive of the Sea Forest complex because it has been “remediated” through the construction.

    “After the Games this is a wonderful park for the people of Tokyo and it is something families will be able to use,” Coates said. “So congratulations on this Sea Forest, President Mori.” 

    With two years until the 2020 Olympics open, Coates said that organizers had no issues with meeting construction deadlines for the Games. That includes the National Stadium, which had its original plans scrapped after Tokyo won the Olympics.

    Coates’ comments stand in stark contrast to pressure the IOC put on Rio de Janeiro two years ahead of the 2016 Olympics. Then construction had not even begun on the Deodoro sport complex, leading to public condemnation of efforts from IOC members including Coates.

    Written and reported by Aaron Bauer in Tokyo

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