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Swimming Federation Chief Says Tokyo 2020 will Avoid Rio 2016 Venue Problems

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US divers Amy Cozad and Jessica Parratto dive into the green pool during the Rio 2016 Olympic Games. Photo: Michael Dalder / Reuters

International Swimming Federation (FINA) President Julio Maglione has reportedly claimed the pool for Tokyo 2020 will not experience the same problems experienced at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.

Construction of the swimming pool was hit by several setbacks in the build-up to Rio 2016, although it was not one of the worst effected venues by delays.

Organizers also suffered embarrassment when the diving pool at the Maria Lenk Aquatics Center turned green during the Games.

Brazilian officials claimed a contractor mistakenly dumped hydrogen peroxide into the pool, which reacted with the chlorine and changed the color.

Maglione has played down any concern that Tokyo 2020 could experience similar problems to Rio 2016, with the FINA chief expressing his confidence in the Japanese organizers.

“I visited the place where they are beginning to build the new swimming pool and it will have all the requirements for an excellent championship because the last condition in Rio was different,” Maglione said, according to Kyodo News.

“We are sure that it will be fine here.”

Tokyo organizers are still debating whether the Olympic Aquatics Stadium should house 15,000 or 20,000 spectators, with concerns remaining over ballooning costs.

A Tokyo Metropolitan Government Task Force commissioned by the city’s new governor, Yuriko Koike, proposed in September that venues for rowing and canoe sprint, volleyball and swimming be moved in order to avoid an overall budget rise to $30 billion.

It was recommended that swimming take place at the existing Tatsumi International Swimming Center where water polo is currently scheduled to be held.

FINA executive director Cornel Marculescu called for Tokyo to stick with its plans during a visit to the city in October, where he met with Japan Swimming Federation President Tsuyoshi Aoki.

The proposed new Olympic Aquatics Stadium will be built in Koto Ward in the Tokyo Bay zone, in order to house swimming, diving and synchronized swimming competitions.

This facility is expected to cost $653 million.

Other changes currently under consideration include a move of rowing and canoe sprint venues, 400 kilometers away to the Naganuma rowing course in Tome.

This is also being opposed by sporting bodies, who believe the originally proposed Sea Forest venue is the only one to meet all of their requirements.

By Michael Pavitt

Republished with permission from insidethegames.biz

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