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Posts posted by gotosy

  1. Tokyo: Work to build Olympic venues running smoothly


    The site of the Olympic Aquatics Center for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and Paralympic Games in Tokyo’s Koto Ward on Feb. 6 (Tatsuya Shimada)



    The Canoe Slalom Course for the 2020 Olympics is under construction in Tokyo’s Edogawa Ward on Feb. 6. (Tatsuya Shimada)


    Up to 20 percent of construction work has been completed as scheduled on four venues--with a total price tag of 130.5 billion yen ($1.2 billion)--for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics, officials said.

    The four sites are: the Olympic Aquatics Center for swimming, diving and synchronized swimming (56.7 billion yen); the Sea Forest Waterway for canoe sprint and rowing (30.8 billion yen); the Ariake Arena for volleyball and wheelchair basketball (35.7 billion yen); and the Canoe Slalom Course (7.3 billion yen).

    The Tokyo metropolitan government showed the progress of construction work to reporters on Feb. 6.

    The Canoe Slalom Course is located in Edogawa Ward while the other three venues are being built in Koto Ward.

    At the Olympic Aquatics Center, four 40-meter-tall pillars that will support the entire building have been erected. Parts of the roof are now evident.

    This summer, the roof parts will be lifted a further 20 meters for installation to cover the building.

    The four venues are expected to be completed in 2019, when test events will be held at the sites, according to a Tokyo metropolitan government official.

    After the Olympics, the facilities will be open for use by the public.




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  2. Czech NOC President Jiří Kejval elected as new IOC Member

    The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has elected Jiří Kejval as a new Member, while Nenad Lalovic was elected to the Executive Board (EB) and Zaiqing Yu was re-elected as EB Vice-President during the IOC Session today.


    President of the Czech National Olympic Committee (NOC) since 2012 and a member of the IOC’s Marketing Commission, Jiří Kejval was elected as an Independent Individual for an eight-year term of office.



  3. Formula 1 announces new schedule for 2018 races


    Formula 1 chiefs have confirmed that there will be a shake-up of the weekend schedule this year, as predicted by Motorsport.com last week, with many European races now starting at 3.10pm.

    As Liberty sets about its overhaul of grand prix racing, it has announced the biggest shake-up in the F1 schedule for years.

    As reported last week, the entire weekend's timetable for European races is being shifted back in a bid to help attract a larger television audience.

    Furthermore, the races will now start 10 minutes past the hour to allow broadcasters to better incorporate the pre-race build-up if their programming starts on the hour.

    A statement issued by F1 said: "Some broadcasters usually go on air precisely on the hour, hence missing the tension and emotion that characterize the minutes before the start of each grand prix.

    "Thanks to this change, television viewers will be brought closer to the teams and the drivers and fully enjoy the spectacle offered just before the red lights go out."

    The French GP will also start at 4.10pm to avoid a clash with the World Cup group game between England and Panama.

    F1 added: "Other minor adjustments have been made in order to avoid clashes with other major sports events like the FIFA World Cup, to allow for differing sunset times, and to attract a wider attendance to promoters' events."




  4. The International Paralympic Committee (IPC) announced on Monday (29 January) that it is maintaining the suspension of the Russian Paralympic Committee (RPC). However, in recognition of the progress made by the RPC in improving its anti-doping activities, it will allow eligible Russian Para athletes who meet strict conditions to compete in five sports under the name Neutral Paralympic Athlete (NPA) at the PyeongChang 2018 Paralympic Winter Games.

    The IPC Governing Board decided to maintain the suspension after receiving an update on Saturday (27 January) from the IPC Taskforce responsible for monitoring the RPC’s progress in meeting the reinstatement criteria. The IPC Taskforce highlighted two criteria that are still outstanding:

    • The full reinstatement of the Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA) by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA).

    • The provision of an official response specifically and adequately addressing the findings made by Professor McLaren.

    Following the decision to maintain the suspension, the IPC Governing Board discussed at length whether to allow Russian Para athletes to compete as neutrals at the PyeongChang 2018 Paralympic Winter Games.

    After acknowledging the steps the RPC has taken to improve its governance and anti-doping procedures and practices, the IPC Governing Board determined that eligible Russian Para athletes that meet strict conditions should be allowed to compete at PyeongChang 2018. Para athletes will be allowed to compete in alpine skiing, biathlon, cross-country skiing, snowboard and wheelchair curling. Under the sport rules for Para ice hockey, an NPA team could not be considered as Russia had missed the opportunity to qualify.



  5. Sapporo 'ready now' for 2026 Winter Games: Japan Olympic chief

    TOKYO: The Japanese city of Sapporo would not need to construct a single competition venue in a potential bid to host the 2026 Winter Games, Japan's top Olympic official said Friday (Jan 19).

    Japanese Olympic Committee (JOC) president Tsunekazu Takeda said the snow-swept northern city could make use of existing venues from the 1972 Winter Olympics it staged, and the 1998 Games in Nagano - about 1,000km southwest of Sapporo - if it formally joins the bid race.

    "It's ready to go," Takeda told AFP in an interview. "We would use all the facilities from the (1972) Sapporo Olympics. The sliding courses for bobsleigh and luge no longer exist, but we would use the Nagano tracks.

    "We could also use the Sapporo Dome for the opening and closing ceremonies. There are no new (sports) venues we actually need to construct," he said, adding that the JOC would look to reduce Sapporo's initial budget estimate of around US$4 billion.

    Sapporo is currently in the dialogue stage with the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to explore the possibility of a bid which, if successful, would give Asia a third successive Winter Games after Pyeongchang next month and Beijing in 2022.

    Cities allowed to advance to the candidature stage will be selected at an IOC board meeting in October, with the winner announced in September 2019.


    "Asia hasn't previously had three Winter Olympics in a row of course," said Takeda, who first announced Sapporo's interest in staging the Games alongside city mayor Katsuhiro Akimoto last November.

    "But after Pyeongchang, nobody expected Beijing to win the next vote - that was a real surprise, so we want to be prepared. All the venues are already in place to host the Games at any time."

    Takeda, a former Olympic show jumper whose great-grandfather was the Emperor Meiji, insisted that Olympic fatigue would not be a factor six years after the 2020 Tokyo Games.

    "If we wanted to host another Summer Olympics six years after nobody would agree, but the Winter Olympics is a totally different event," said the 70-year-old.

    "We're told the approval rating among the citizens of Sapporo for an Olympic bid is very high," he added.

    "Sapporo is a mecca for winter sports in Asia and last year it successfully hosted the Asian Winter Games. It would be a safe and totally reliable host city."

    Sapporo, a city of two million on the northern Japanese island of Hokkaido, could face competition from Sion, Calgary and Stockholm, among others.

    "We don't yet know what European cities will end up bidding but Sapporo would be an ideal candidate," said Takeda, underlining the city's credentials.

    "Sapporo has always wanted to host the Olympics again and our aim is to be ready to host a Games, for the city and for the sake of the Olympic Movement too."

    Source: AFP/zl
    Read more at https://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/sport/sapporo-ready-now-for-2026-winter-games-japan-olympic-chief-9876904



    Tokyo 2020 launches Olympic and Paralympic medal design competition


    Tokyo 2020 has launched a competition whereby Japanese nationals and residents of the country, aged 18 and over, can submit design proposals for the medals that will be awarded at the Olympic and Paralympic Games.

    The competition is aimed at those with design experience, including the young and old, design students and professionals.

    As a first step, applicants will be requested to submit their personal profiles and examples of previous design work for evaluation by January 19, 2018.

    Those judged to meet the necessary criteria will be invited to submit designs for the rear side of the Olympic medals and for the front and rear sides of the Paralympic medals.

    Creators must submit their proposals for all three designs as a set.

    A Tokyo 2020 medal design selection panel, comprising members of the Tokyo 2020 Brand Advisory Board, former athletes and professional designers, will review all entries and select a shortlist of designs by April 2018.

    The designers of these and a manufacturing institution will create three-dimensional mock-ups of the shortlisted entries, with the winner set to be selected in August 2018.

    The new medals are due to be unveiled in 2019.

    Tokyo 2020 has created a webpage for the medal design competition ©Tokyo 2020 Tokyo 2020 has created a webpage for the medal design competition ©Tokyo 2020

    Japanese boxer Ryota Murata, a gold medallist at the London 2012 Olympics and the reigning World Boxing Association middleweight champion, insists the medals "need to last forever".

    "A simple design that you never tire of is better," he said.

    "The Tokyo 1964 and Nagano 1998 medals were impressive in that they had a Japanese feel to them."

    Earlier this year, Tokyo 2020 commenced a nationwide collection of discarded and obsolete electronic devices in order to use the metal they contain in the production of medals.

    Tokyo 2020 claims it is the first time such an innovative and environmentally-friendly approach has been adopted by an Olympic and Paralympic Games Organising Committee.

    Between April and October, approximately 1,874 tons of discarded devices were collected by municipal authorities across Japan.

    Over the same period, approximately 1.78 million used mobile phones have been handed in at NTT DOCOMO stores around the nation. 

    A Japanese webpage has been created for the medal design competition, which can be accessed by clicking here.






  7. Pyeongchang 2018: Russia remains banned from Winter Paralympics


    A final decision on whether Russia can compete at the 2018 Winter Paralympics will be taken in January after the International Paralympic Committee upheld the ban on Tuesday.

    Russia was banned from all Paralympic competition by the IPC in August 2016 after revelations of systematic doping.

    The IPC governing board said on Tuesday there were still five key measures to be met before Russia's reinstatement.

    The Winter Paralympics begin in South Korea on 9 March, 2018.

    In December 2016, the IPC created an independent taskforce which set the Russian Paralympic Committee (RPC) a number of conditions that must be met before their athletes can return to competitive disability sport events run by the IPC.

    In September, the taskforce highlighted seven key measures that needed to be met before it is able to recommend the reinstatement of the RPC, and in an update on Tuesday, there were still five which had not been satisfied.

    The five key measures are:

    • The approval of the RPC's constitution by the IPC membership department.
    • Completion of all budget-related aspects of the reinstatement criteria.
    • The provision and confirmation of certain additional information by the RPC regarding personnel and governance (reinstatement criteria 10 and 14.2), as specified by the taskforce.
    • The full reinstatement of the Russian Anti-Doping Agency (Rusada) by the World Anti-Doping Agency (Wada).
    • The provision of an official response specifically and adequately addressing the findings made by Professor McLaren.

    In the interim period, Russian athletes can compete as neutrals in qualification events across four sports - alpine skiing, biathlon, cross-country skiing and snowboard.

    The measure, first announced in September, aims to allow Russia to enter its qualified athletes into the Games should it have its suspension lifted in time.

    "As the deadline for athlete entries for Pyeongchang 2018 is 23 February, the IPC Governing Board's next meeting between 26-28 January really is the last chance for Russia to meet the criteria in time for the Games," said new IPC President Andrew Parsons.

    "Although the IPC Governing Board continues to be impressed at the level of co-operation and progress made so far by the RPC, it is united in its decision to maintain the suspension as the reinstatement criteria have not yet been met in full.

    "The RPC is making headway with the IPC on three of the five remaining reinstatement criteria, however sadly, and much to our growing disappointment and frustration, there is a lack of progress regarding an official response from the Russian authorities specifically and adequately addressing the McLaren findings and evidence."



  8. Filmmaker Yamazaki likely to direct 2020 Tokyo Olympic ceremonies



    The organizing committee of the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics is planning to appoint film director Takashi Yamazaki among others to direct the opening and closing ceremonies of the 2020 sports events, sources close to the matter said Wednesday.

    Yamazaki, 53, best known for his film series "Always -- Sunset on Third Street," is expected to play a key role in creating the format and stories for the ceremonies, the sources said.

    Yamasaki's "Always" depicts life in a close-knit Tokyo neighborhood after World War II and its third episode features the Japanese capital in 1964, when the previous summer Olympics was held. He also directed the war drama film "The Eternal Zero" and animation film "Stand By Me Doraemon."

    The production team of the Olympics and Paralympics ceremonies will also likely include those involved in the performance by Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe at the closing ceremony of the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics, during which the premier played the role of Mario, of Mario Bros., according to the sources.

    Pop singer Ringo Sheena and traditional Japanese kyogen actor Nomura Mansai are also likely to join the group, the sources added.

    The opening and closing ceremonies of the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics will each be presented in four parts, based on such themes as peace, coexistence, reconstruction and the future.

    © KYODO



  9. Medals to be awarded at the 2018 PyeongChang Winter Parlympics were unveiled Monday, with a nod to the Korean culture and traditions.

    The competition's organizing committee said the Paralympics medals are based on the same design principles of the medals for the Winter Olympics, in that both have been inspired by the Korean culture and its alphabet, hangeul. Lee Suk-woo, a South Korean industrial designer who designed the Olympic medals, also produced the Paralympic medals.

    The Paralympics will take place from March 9 to 18.

    This photo provided by the organizing committee for the 2018 PyeongChang Winter Paralympics on Dec. 11, 2017, shows the medals to be awarded at the competition. (Yonhap)

    The medals are 92.5 millimeters in diameter and 9.42 millimeters in width. They have the hangeul consonants of the words PyeongChang 2018 Paralympic Winter Games engraved around the edge. Traditional patterns, including clouds, mountains, wind and wood, each symbolizing the nature of PyeongChang and its home province of Gangwon, grace the obverse.

    The Paralympic Games' symbol of three agitos are on the front side of the medal, with the Paralympics' logo and the name of each sport featured on the back.

    The Paralympic medals' lanyard has much the same design as that for the Winter Olympics, in that both have snowflake patterns embroidered on "Gapsa," a type of cloth used in the traditional Korean dress of hanbok. Light teal and light red were used in consistency with the look of the quadrennial competition.

    The curved pattern of the medal case was inspired by the Korean traditional beauty, the organizers said.

    At the PyeongChang Paralympics, 133 sets of medals will be awarded across six sports and 80 events.

    "The Paralympic Winter Games medals for PyeongChang 2018 are a symbol of equality, creativity, culture and passion," said Lee Hee-beom, the top organizer of the competition. "The work that has gone into the design and manufacturing of the medals has been world class, and we are all looking forward to the moment when the first medal will be awarded to the world's best Paralympic athletes next year."  (Yonhap)





    Only five per cent of Winter Paralympic tickets sold but Pyeongchang 2018 claim over half purchased for Olympics


    Pyeongchang 2018 have claimed over 50 per cent of tickets for the Winter Olympics have now been sold, but only five per cent of the sales target has been reached for the Paralympic Games.

    Low ticket sales for the Paralympic Games were revealed last month, when politician Jo Seoung-lae claimed Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism figures showed just 0.2 per cent had been sold.

    The figure, revealed by the Democratic Party official, revealed just 457 of the 223,353 tickets had been purchased as of October 20.

    Pyeongchang 2018 claim the sales figure has risen to 11,274 as of yesterday, although this remains just five per cent of the total available.

    International Paralympic Committee President Andrew Parsons claimed earlier this month that Pyeongchang 2018 had responded positively to criticism over the poor sales figures.

    Parsons raised the issue with the President of Pyeongchang 2018, Lee Hee-beom, and the South Korean President Moon Jae-in while visiting the country, with the official remaining optimistic full venues could still be achieved.

    There are more promising figures for the Olympic Games, with 52 per cent having been claimed to have been sold.

    A total of 555,000 of the 1.07 million tickets available had been sold by November 24, rising from 275,964 the previous month.

    The latest total includes local and international sales.

    International ticket sales, however, are the number distributed to the authorised ticket resellers around the world and have not necessarily been sold to the public yet. 

    Over half of Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Olympic tickets have now been sold ©Getty Images Over half of Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Olympic tickets have now been sold ©Getty Images

    Pyeongchang 2018 have stated that 54 per cent of tickets have been sold for both snow and ice sport events at the Games.

    A total of 52 per cent have been sold for the Opening Ceremony, due to take place on February 9.

    Organisers add that 37 per cent of the tickets for sliding sports have also been sold.

    Figures may have been boosted by tickets available offline for the first time from November 1, with sales having been done solely online beforehand.

    Three main ticket centres have opened across the host nation: in Seoul City Hall, Gangwon Provincial Government in Chuncheon and Gangneung City Hall.

    Organisers also revealed the design of the tickets - which feature pictograms for each sport as well as images of snowflakes in the shape of the Korean alphabet.

    The Olympic Torch also touched down in South Korea on November 1, with Pyeongchang 2018 and International Olympic Committee officials having claimed it would heighten media and public attention for the Games.

    Promotions by rights-holders' and partners' in the build-up to the Games are also hoped to boost sales in the coming months.

    The Pyeongchang 2018 Olympics are scheduled to take place from February 9 to 25.

    They will be followed by the Paralympics, due to be held from March 8 to 18.









    Rio 2016 Velodrome track escapes undamaged after second fire in four months


    There has been no damage has reported to the Velodrome built for last year's Olympic and Paralympic Games in Rio de Janeiro after a second fire at the venue in four months.

    The Olympic Legacy Governance Authority (AGLO) confirmed the fire, which they state was caused by a balloon.

    A balloon was also found to have caused the fire at the velodrome in the Brazilian city in July.

    The releasing of balloons and lanterns is illegal in Brazil, but remains a common occurrence.

    "The AGLO deplores the incident that occurred this morning at the Velodrome at the Olympic Park in Barra, Rio de Janeiro," an AGLO statement read.

    "Just as it had already happened last July, a balloon struck a part of the roof of the Velodrome, which caught fire.

    "The fire was immediately restrained by the Fire Department.

    "Preliminary inspection indicates that there was no damage to the cycling track.

    "AGLO has already taken the initial steps for the repair process, including cleaning the premises."

    The Velodrome will host the UCI Para-cycling Track World Championships in March ©Getty Images The Velodrome will host the UCI Para-cycling Track World Championships in March ©Getty Images

    The initial fire in July had caused damage to the roof, while photos also prompted concerns over a section of the track.

    It was later revealed the cooling system of the venue had not been affected, while the damage to the track was not as bad as first thought.

    Former International Cycling Union (UCI) President Brian Cookson told insidethegames the damage to the track was largely superficial, with soot from the damaged roof having prompted the concern.

    He made the comments in September, when the UCI confirmed the velodrome would host the 2018 Para-cycling Track World Championships, having been informed repairs to the roof were set to conclude.

    Competition is due to take place from March 22 to 25.

    It will be the first World Championships staged at a venue used for Olympic and Paralympic competition since Rio 2016. 

    Located at the Barra Olympic Park, the Velodrome is one Rio 2016 venue where concerns have been expressed about legacy.

    The facility re-opened in May for the first time since the Games and hosted a three-day festival.

    This included the Rio de Janeiro State Championship, BMX freestyle presentations and a business exposition.

    Organisers hoped the event would promote the velodrome as a major training facility in the region.









    First new permanent Tokyo 2020 venue opens as organisers claim preparations are on track


    Tokyo 2020's first new permanent venue has been officially opened to the public today as officials claimed preparations for the Olympic and Paralympic Games are "well on track".

    The Musashino Forest Sport Plaza, which will host badminton and modern pentathlon's fencing round at the Olympics, and wheelchair basketball at the Paralympics, is the first of eight new permanent venues to be completed.

    It was opened at a Ceremony in the Japanese capital.

    Tokyo 2020 chief executive Toshiro Muto and Governor Yuriko Koike were among those in attendance at the event.

    The opening of the arena provides a boost to organisers following several setbacks in the construction of other venues.

    It has a 10,000 seating capacity and also features a swimming pool, a gym, a multi-use sports area and two fitness studios, all of which will be available for use by the general public.

    "We are making real progress in our preparations," Koike said.

    "We have passed the 1,000-days-to-go mark and we intend to build on this momentum and continue the hard work."

    The Musashino Forest Sport Plaza is the first of eight new permanent venues to be completed ©Tokyo 2020 The Musashino Forest Sport Plaza is the first of eight new permanent venues to be completed ©Tokyo 2020

    Tokyo 2020 insisted the delivery of all the 40 venues - including the eight which will be permanent, 24 existing sites and eight temporary constructions - was "going according to plan".

    It comes after a number of issues with venues for the Games, including the National Stadium.

    The initial project for the stadium was scrapped by Japanese Prime Minister Shinzō Abe in August 2015 because of spiralling costs.

    The venue was also due to stage the 2019 Rugby World Cup final but the debacle forced organisers of the tournament to put forward the Yokohama Stadium as a replacement.

    Tokyo 2020 were dealt a further blow last month when a survey revealed the quality of the water at Tokyo Bay, the location of the marathon swimming and swimming leg of the triathlon, was not good enough to meet International Federation standards.

    "I am delighted that this first new permanent venue has been delivered and inaugurated in such an early phase of the Games life cycle," said Muto.

    "The Organising Committee's activities have switched from the planning phase to the delivery phase and our eyes are now firmly on the opening date of the Games. 

    "Tokyo 2020 will fulfil its promise and deliver a safe and successful Games that will leave a lasting legacy and benefits for everyone."






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