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Olympic Summer Games Tokyo 2020

Now that the heart-wrenching and historic 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics are over, what can we have to stay up for? In simply over two years, the video games will return to Asia, to Tokyo. Here’s a taster of what we’re all set to change into armchair consultants on:

Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic video games official merchandise store at Ginza in Tokyo, Japan. Image by Alessandro Di Ciommo/NurPhoto through Getty Images)

New Sports

Five new sports activities have been permitted by the IOC for inclusion in 2020: baseball & softball, karate, skateboarding, sport climbing and browsing. (For the Paralympics there can be two new sports activities: badminton and taekwondo).

Japan is about to be a sport within the Tokyo Olympics.  The Japanese group have a good time their victory over South Korea within the Asia Professional Baseball Championships in Tokyo in November. Image by Toru Yamanaka/AFP/Getty Images

Baseball makes complete sense: it’s Japan’s hottest sport. Baseball has appeared sporadically at Olympics previous, extra typically as an exhibition sport than as a medal competitors. It had solely a five-Olympic run (1992–2008) as an official event earlier than London voted it out. Japan has medaled in three of the 5 Olympic baseball tournaments and in three of the 4 softball ones – together with a gold-medal victory for the women over the usA. in 2008 – so you possibly can guess they’re wanting ahead to this one in 2020.

Yokohama Stadium, considered one of two venues for baseball video games. Image by Tokyo 2020

Like the 2008 video games, newbie restrictions can be lifted, opening the best way for American Major League gamers to take part (if their franchises permit it, after all). Games can be held at Yokohama Stadium and Fukushima Azuma Baseball Stadium, slightly than Tokyo’s two baseball stadiums (presumably in order to not interrupt the common professional season).

Kata competitions can be a part of the Olympic line-up for 2020. Here Kiyou Shimizu from Japan competes within the feminine particular person kata competitors at Karate World Championships 2014 in  Germany. Image by Carmen Jaspersen/AFP/Getty Images

Karate too is a no brainer: males’s judo was first launched on the Tokyo 1964 Summer Olympics (girls’s judo was added in Barcelona in 1992), so it is smart that Japan – a rustic with a robust martial arts connection – would wish to embody one other one. Karate has its roots within the Ryukyu Empire (the land that was Okinawa earlier than it was annexed by Japan in 1879). There can be each kumite (sparring) and kata (type) competitions, following the laws of the World Karate Federation. Both the karate and judo occasions will happen at Nippon Budokan, the nationwide martial arts stadium that was constructed for the 1964 video games.

Yota Mahome of Japan in motion. Skateboarding is to set to change into a aggressive sport in Tokyo 20202.  Image by Stanley Chou/Getty Images

The different sports activities, nevertheless, are novel decisions – a part of the IOC’s technique to attraction to youthful viewers. None of those sports activities has a mainstream following in Japan, although the nation has produced some severe contenders.

The skateboarding competitors – which can embody park and avenue occasions – can be held on the Olympic BMX Course, a short lived venue in Odaiba (one of many synthetic islands on Tokyo Bay). The sport climbing competitors, which can be a mixed lead, bouldering and pace event, can be held at Aomi Urban Sports Venue (one other non permanent facility in Odaiba).

Students from 16,000 faculties throughout Japan elected the successful mascot for the video games. Image by Alessandro Di Ciommo/NurPhoto through Getty Images

Japan has some unbelievable surf spots, although these within the Tokyo space aren’t the most effective the nation has to supply. However, if there may be one place near-ish the capital with constantly good waves, it’s Tsurigasaki (in neighbouring Chiba prefecture), and that is the place the browsing will happen. It’s already a venue for the World Surf League’s qualifying collection.

The shortlisted sports activities that didn’t make the minimize? Bowling, squash and wushu (Chinese martial arts).

The Venues

We’re most excited concerning the event that can happen really within the metropolis itself: race strolling, which can be held within the Imperial Palace Garden. With the moats and retains from the fort that when stood right here as a backdrop, it’s positive to encourage some wanderlust in at-home viewers. And if there may be any sport that Tokyoites are intimately acquainted with, it’s race strolling. After all, what metropolis dweller isn’t?

Nijubashi bridge is the principle gate to Imperial Palace Gardens the place the strolling race is about to happen. Image by Raquel Maria Carbonell Pagola/Getty Images

The opening and shutting ceremonies, in addition to the athletics and a few soccer matches, can be held on the new National Stadium. Designed by Japanese architect Kengo Kuma, the 80,000-seat stadium can be fabricated from metal and timber, with latticework that references conventional structure and greenery included all through.  It’s set to be accomplished in November 2019.

Scale mannequin of the brand new nationwide stadium for the 2020 Olympics. Image by Alessandro Di Ciommo/NurPhoto through Getty Images

Besides the brand new stadium, a lot of the different new services within the works are on synthetic islands on Tokyo Bay – just about the one place in Tokyo with room for constructions of such monumental measurement. The Olympic Village may also be close by, within the bayside Harumi district; after the event, the items can be bought as residential flats.

Yoyogi National Stadium designed by Japan’s foremost trendy architect Kenzō Tange. Image by Tokyo 2020

In addition to the Budokan, venues from the 1964 video games that can make a return look embody the enduring Yoyogi National Stadium (handball), designed by Japan’s foremost trendy architect Kenzō Tange, and Equestrian Park (for the equestrian occasions, dressage, eventing and leaping, naturally). Boxing occasions can be held in Rokugien, the nationwide sumo stadium.

Izu Velodrome the place the biking athletes will compete. Image by Tokyo 2020

The most up-to-date venue news is that the observe biking and mountain biking occasions – initially scheduled to happen at non permanent services to be constructed on the bay –– will now be taking place in Izu, on the Izu Velodrome and Izu Mountain Bike Course, respectively. It’s a cost-cutting measure that can imply additional travel for the athletes: Izu is a peninsula some 120km southwest of Tokyo. On the plus facet, the organisers are promising Mt Fuji views for the mountain bike occasions. (A daring promise, as haze typically obscures the mountain).

Fuji Mountain in Autumn
Fuji Mountain is about to be the backdrop for mountain bike occasions. Image by DoctorEgg/Getty Images

We’re most excited concerning the event that can happen really within the metropolis itself: race strolling, which can be held within the Imperial Palace Garden. With the moats and retains from the fort that when stood right here as a backdrop, it’s positive to encourage some wanderlust in at-home viewers. And if there may be any sport that Tokyoites are intimately acquainted with, it’s race strolling. After all, what metropolis dweller isn’t?




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