Tokyo Aquatics Centre opening postponed

The opening ceremony for the Tokyo Aquatics Centre, one of the host venues for this summer’s Olympic and Paralympic Games in the Japanese capital, has been pushed back due to the coronavirus outbreak.

The arena’s opening ceremony had been scheduled for March 22 but this has been postponed to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. Around 1,000 locals had been expected to attend the event at the 15,000-seat venue.

The opening ceremony will eventually be a behind-closed-doors event when it is rescheduled. An announcement on the new opening date for the arena is expected in due course.

The Tokyo 2020 organising committee announced earlier in the month that all new permanent venues for this year’s Games had been completed. The Tokyo Aquatics Centre (pictured in December) was the final permanent venue to be completed on schedule at the end of February.

A total of 43 venues – eight new permanent venues, 25 existing facilities and 10 temporary venues – will be used at Tokyo 2020, although question marks remain over whether the Games will go ahead as scheduled as the coronavirus continues to have an impact on sport around the world.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe reiterated over the weekend that the Games will go ahead as planned, although the final decision will be in the hands of the International Olympic Committee (IOC). The Olympics are due to take place from July 24 to August 9, with the Paralympics to follow from August 25 to September 6.

The Tokyo Aquatics Centre is due to host swimming, artistic swimming and diving events at the Games. After the Olympics, it will stage domestic and international competitions.

Image: 江戸村のとくぞう