Questions on sailing, triathlon remain for 2020 : IOC's Coates
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[April 24, 2018]
By Elaine Lies
TOKYO (Reuters) - Tokyo 2020 still
faces questions on judo, sailing and triathlon, where issues about
water quality in particular remain unresolved, International Olympic
Committee (IOC) Vice President John Coates said on Tuesday with just
over two years to prepare.
Coates, who is also chairman of the IOC's Coordination Committee for
the 2020 Tokyo Games, on Monday said Tokyo must answer tough
questions from national Olympic committees or risk losing confidence
in their ability to host the games.
The stakes are especially high given the success of the Pyeongchang
Winter games earlier this year, he said at the end of a two-day
Project Review meeting in Tokyo.
"We experienced a wonderful Winter Games in Pyeongchang, we saw your
Japanese team produce some wonderful performances but now you are
the next host city," he said, adding that this would require them to
be forthright as the clock ticked down and urgency grows for
"I think the questions are going to increasingly come, particularly
from the 206 national Olympic Committees who want to know about the
best arrangements for their athletes."
Among the competitions facing questions are judo and sailing and
triathlon, where the water quality has been under scrutiny.
Tokyo 2020 organizers said in October that tests showed levels of E.
Coli up to 20 times above the accepted limit and fecal coliform
bacteria seven times higher than agreed at the planned venue for
marathon swimming and triathlon.
To deal with this, organizers have said they will install underwater
screens at Odaiba Marine Park to limit the amount of bacteria
flowing from offshore during rainy periods and have already
conducted a number of tests.
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International Olympic Committee (IOC) Vice President John Coates (L)
shakes hands with President of Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic
organising committee Yoshiro Mori after their news conference
following Project Review Meeting in Tokyo, Japan, April 24, 2018.
"Triathlon was still concerned about water quality and we received a
presentation about experiments that will take place this year and
next year, better screening into the water and putting curtains," he
"We very pleased by the attention that's being given to that."
Judo was concerned about procedural events ahead of the Games, while
sailing was worried about the impact local fishermen might have on
their practice sessions, he added.
Games organizers have also been working to cut costs after a 2016
study warned expenses could balloon to four times the original
estimate in the bid documents, a process that Coates said would
continue as additional areas came under scrutiny.
The Tokyo Games start on July 24, 2020.
(Reporting by Elaine Lies; Editing by Amlan Chakraborty)
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