Tokyo 2020: Here we go again

Published on April 17th, 2018

Bangkok, Thailand (April 17, 2018) – With water pollution dominating the headlines two years in advance of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, World Sailing is facing problems again in advance of the Tokyo 2020 Games.

During the General Assembly of the Association of Summer Olympic International Federation (ASOIF) today, World Sailing reports how the Organizing Committee is one-year behind with preparations.

Around 10 world governing body representatives raised concerns with different aspects of progress with little more than two years to go until the Olympics are due to open.

World Sailing chief executive Andy Hunt cited the course itself at Enoshima Yacht Harbor as one of a number of problems.

“As many of you are aware, the planning process for the sailing competition at Tokyo 2020 has been extremely challenging,” he said in a pre-written statement delivered during the questions and answer segment of a presentation given by Japanese officials.

“The Organizing Committee is at least one year behind where they should be at this stage, with two years and three months to go until the Games, and with just over 130 days to go until our first test event this September – which is the first test event of the Tokyo Games.

“Our challenges include not having a confirmed field of play, with problems involving fishing fleets in Enoshima. We don’t have a security plan that we believe will deliver a safe and secure field of play for competition. We don’t have an acceptable test event plan for 2019 or a firm plan for equipment.

“In addition, there is a serious gap in understanding in the Organizing Committee over what is required to deliver an Olympic sailing competition.” Hunt “strongly advised” the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to address these issues with “utmost urgency in accordance with the bid commitments.”

He also called for “all of the good work and thinking done over the years in relation to the sport delivery model of the Olympic Games to be finally implemented.”

“Collectively, we have IFs (International Federations) that deliver regularly larger and far more complex competitions in their sports than the individual events in the Olympic Games, yet we drag ourselves through pain and inefficiency with the current sport delivery process.”

World Sailing were due to meet Tokyo 2020 later today to discuss the problem.

The issue is bound to be discussed at a closed meeting tomorrow of ASOIF members and IOC officials, including President Thomas Bach.

Tokyo 2020 did not deliver a detailed response to Hunt’s concerns but emphasized their commitment to work together and address all concerns.


Editor’s note: We all witnessed how Rio failed to live up to their bid commitments regarding the water quality in Guanabara Bay. Hopefully the IOC will not allow this lack of fulfillment to happen again.

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