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Tokyo 2020 targets Olympic festival district with venue approvals

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has approved plans from Tokyo 2020 to create “one of the greatest festival districts” in Olympic and Paralympic history through the venues outlined for skateboarding and sport climbing, as well as the two newly-added sports disciplines, basketball 3×3 and BMX freestyle.

With these additions to the sports programme, Tokyo 2020 said it hopes its summer Games will inspire new generations and become a blueprint for future Olympic Games.

The Aomi Urban Sports Venue will host basketball 3×3 and sport climbing. This temporary venue will be set up in the Tokyo Bay Zone, located close to the Olympic Village. The Olympic BMX Course will now host BMX freestyle and skateboarding in addition to BMX racing. Also located in the Tokyo Bay Zone, the venue will be constructed in the northern part of Tokyo’s Ariake district, a waterfront area of the Japanese capital.

Tokyo 2020 chief executive Toshiro Muto (pictured) said: “The newly-added urban sports such as BMX freestyle and basketball 3×3 are very popular among younger generations and will help us to connect with new fans. We are confident that the Ariake and Aomi areas will become symbolic locations for the Tokyo 2020 Games that engage youth from around the world.

“Now that the venues are fixed, we will work in cooperation with the Tokyo Metropolitan Government to make these areas one of the greatest festival districts in Olympic and Paralympic history.”

Skateboarding and sport climbing were among the additional sports proposed by Tokyo 2020, while basketball 3×3 and BMX freestyle were added by the IOC. The approval of the plans at the IOC’s Executive Board meeting yesterday (Wednesday) represents a revision of Tokyo 2020’s original proposal in December 2016 to use Aomi Urban Sports Venue for skateboarding events, following a review by Tokyo 2020, the IOC, the Tokyo Metropolitan Government and the relevant international federations.

In other news, the IOC has stated its satisfaction with increased ticket sales for the 2018 winter Olympic Games. The rate of ticket sales has been a key concern for Pyeongchang 2018, but local organisers yesterday stated that daily sales have tripled since the Olympic torch relay commenced in South Korea last month, adding that they are confident that 90 per cent will be sold by the time the Games commence on February 9.

Pyeongchang 2018 recently implemented a plan engaging 17 local governments and schools to boost ticket sales. Christophe Dubi, executive director for the Olympic Games at the IOC, said: “(Sales) are now at 55 per cent. We average 1,200 a day without counting school sales. We have to trust the Koreans. They said there would be a last minute surge. The intention is to get to 90 per cent at the start of the Games which would be a fabulous result.”

Finally, two decisions were taken by the IOC Executive Board in relation to the Youth Olympic Games. Approval was granted for the fourth editions of the summer and winter Youth Olympic Games to be held in 2022 and 2024 respectively. The 2022 candidature is to be added to the agenda for further discussion at the next meeting of the Executive Board in Pyeongchang in February.