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Changing Olympics venues

 June 28, 2014

Olympics: IOC mulls Tokyo 2020 Olympic venue changes



TOKYO (Kyodo) -- International Olympic Committee concluded its first commission meeting for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics on Friday, with IOC vice president John Coates stressing the importance of making improvements, if any, to the venue plans at an early stage.

Coates and other members of the commission were visiting Tokyo for the first time since the Japanese capital won the right to host the Summer Games last September. The IOC, under its new president Thomas Bach, is hoping to rein in costs of future Olympics.

The organizing committee for the 2020 Olympics has recently started to scrutinize the initial plan of locating the majority of venues within an 8-kilometer radius of the Athletes' Village due to concerns over costs.

Coates specifically discussed changing the location of the proposed venue for the canoe slalom event because of environment concerns. But he added that changes to the venue plan would have to be approved by the respective international federations.

"Our advice was, well, if there's that opposition (for the canoe slalom event), look for another site," Coates said. "And they have identified another site on the same island quite proximate and the stage we're at now is we've recommended that there'll be discussions with the International Federation."

"There will be no changes unless there is a full sign-off from the international federations," Coates said.

Organizing committee chief Yoshiro Mori said, "We received a high evaluation even for a the progress of our preparations. It was an inspiring kickoff for the whole team."

The coordination commission, which will visit again next year, will make 10 trips to Japan before Tokyo hosts the Games to give advice on the best way to stage the Games.

Tokyo, which hosted the 1964 Olympics, won the right to host the 2020 Games with a plan touting the city's safety and superior infrastructure. Of the 33 competition venues, 28 have been designated within 8 km of the Olympic Village, which will be built on reclaimed land in Tokyo Bay.

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