John Coates, chair of the International Olympic Committee’s Coordination Commission for Tokyo’s 2020 summer Olympic Games, has urged local organisers to seek help from International Federations (IFs) when preparing to stage sports they may not be overly familiar with hosting.
Tokyo 2020 organisers have recently faced criticism from the international federations of golf, sailing, judo, baseball/softball and triathlon for a perceived lack of understanding when it comes to staging their respective sports in two years’ time.
The IOC Coordination Commission visited Tokyo last week and Coates (pictured), while admitting that concerns from IFs have been addressed, has called on organisers to draw on the expertise of other bodies in the lead-up to the Games.
Speaking to Japanese news agency Kyodo, IOC vice-president Coates said: “It's a little bit to do with the profile of the sports in this country. Obviously in sports in which Japan is not traditionally strong, and doesn't have a lot of experience in, then more liaison work with international federations is necessary.
“The federations are not going to have to worry too much about karate or judo or baseball or softball – track and field, great experience there, swimming too – but you go to rowing, canoeing, some of those sports, and it is going to need greater reliance on the international federations, in terms of operational planning.”
Coates is a former rower and pointed to his sport as one area in which Tokyo 2020 might lack expertise. “In rowing you have locals who drive the speed boats, and you have to make sure they are trained so they know how far to sit back behind the crews and understand the importance of not creating wakes,” he added. “Some of those things are going to need a lot more attention, in some sports more than others.”
Coates, who told Kyodo that the IOC was overall “very pleased” with the progress being made in Tokyo, also discussed the transportation issues facing the city. “That's for the working of the city, but particularly we want to make sure that the athletes, technical officials and spectators are able to get to the events,” he said.
“That the link between, for example, a railway and a venue, that the buses are going to be there when they come off the railway to take them into the venue, all of those type of things, is the planning that still needs to be done.”
Meanwhile, Tokyo 2020 has today (Friday) announced an outline of ticket prices for the Games.
Half of all tickets have been priced at JPY 8,000 (€61/$72) or less, with residents of Japan having today been given their first chance to register on the Tokyo 2020 online platform, which will provide ticketing information and allow fans to apply for tickets from next spring. Further details of the ticket ordering and purchasing process for Japanese residents will be announced in due course.
Tickets purchased in Japan for the opening and closing ceremonies will be priced between JPY 12,000 and JPY 300,000. A range of sports events will be priced between JPY 2,500 and JPY 130,000, while a symbolic ticket price of JPY 2,020 has also been set for families and groups resident in Japan whose members include children, senior citizens or individuals with impairments.
The JPY 2,020 price will also be available in conjunction with a school programme targeting more than one million students across Japan. Concessionary tickets for wheelchair-dedicated areas will be available, while organisers are also planning a hospitality programme for the Games.