Tokyo yesterday opened its first new permanent venue for the 2020 Olympics in a welcome public relations boost for the organizers after a series of setbacks.
The opening of the Musashino Forest Sport Plaza, which is to host badminton and modern pentathlon fencing, offers Tokyo organizers some respite after a disastrous rollout of plans for the 2020 Olympic stadium.
“We are making real progress in our preparations,” Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike told reporters at the venue’s opening ceremony. “We ... intend to build on this momentum and continue the hard work.”
The venue, which is to also host wheelchair basketball at the 2020 Paralympics, is the first of eight permanent venues to be completed.
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe two years ago tore up the blueprints for the new national stadium amid public anger over its US$2 billion price tag in an embarrassing setback.
That decision deprived next year’s Rugby World Cup of its main venue.
Designs for the official Games mascot then had to be scrapped following accusations of plagiarism.
There was more bad news last month when Olympic organizers said that prolonged summer rain had brought high levels of bacteria to a venue earmarked for triathlon and open-water swimming.
While Tokyo has taken successful measures to slash costs, the International Olympic Committee has urged organizers to try to further reduce its US$12 billion budget, including finding ways to cut services at the athletes’ village.
Tokyo is to have 39 venues for the Olympics and Paralympics, including 23 existing sites and eight temporary facilities, in addition to the eight new permanent ones.
Hong Kong media reported that police briefly detained a man in a Liverpool team jersey who shouted “long live Liverpool” during anti-government protests on Wednesday, over suspicion that he was inciting independence. In-Media reported that the man was across the street from police officers who were conducting stop-and-searches on a group of protesters, when he shouted: “Long live Liverpool.” Others reportedly cheered and joined in the chant, before officers detained him. The man told In-Media that police had accused him of inciting Hong Kong independence, which now is a punishable crime. He said that he has been a fan of the English soccer
WOLFSBURG BEATEN: Bayern striker Robert Lewandowski scored from a penalty, his 34th league goal this season, finishing as the top Bundesliga scorer for the fifth time Werder Bremen gave themselves hope of avoiding relegation from the Bundesliga by thrashing Cologne 6-1 to grab a playoff place on the last day of the season, while champions Bayern Munich routed VfL Wolfsburg before lifting the trophy on Saturday. Japan striker Yuya Osako scored twice as Bremen stole the lifeline of the relegation/promotion playoff place from Fortuna Duesseldorf, who lost 3-0 against Union Berlin and were relegated with SC Paderborn, finishing one point behind Bremen. “We put in a great performance under pressure, but we are aware that we haven’t achieved anything — in the relegation playoff, the emotions will be
Raptors guard Fred VanVleet is already in Florida with the rest of his Toronto teammates, and he knows the time to take a stand and counter the NBA plan to restart the season has passed, but his opinion on the matter has not changed. “It sucks,” VanVleet said on Monday in a videoconference of his choice to return to the court during the COVID-19 pandemic and Black Lives Matter campaign. “It’s terrible timing, but that’s been 2020 for us. We all know the right thing to do is to not play, to take a stand. Morally, yes, that makes sense, but
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Friday said that he had called in the “third umpire” as he announced that recreational cricket would be allowed to resume next weekend. In a radio interview earlier on Friday, Johnson angered thousands of club cricketers by saying that the amateur game was still not safe to play amid the COVID-19 pandemic because of issues surrounding communal teas and dressing rooms. “It’s the teas, it’s the changing rooms and so on and so forth. There are other factors involved that generate proximity which you might not get in a game of tennis,” he said. Johnson had already