Heat and water quality issues have dogged Tokyo 2020 Summer Olympics organizers in recent weeks but delegates to a Chef de Mission seminar yesterday said they are confident that their hosts will find solutions ahead of the next year’s Olympic Games.
The National Olympic Committees (NOCs) takes a three-day visit, including a progress update and venue tour, after recent test events highlighted potential issues for the next year’s Games, which start on July 24.
High temperatures have killed 57 people across Japan since late July, which highlights the possible health threat to both athletes and fans.
At the Tokyo 2020 para-triathlon test last week, the sport’s governing body had to reduce the distance of the run segment in the women’s race due to heat concerns.
The swimming segment of para-triathlon last Saturday was canceled altogether as E.coli bacteria were found with high levels in the water of Tokyo Bay.
However, the three-time Olympic gold medalist swimmer Dutch Chef de Mission Pieter van den Hoogenband said the NOCs were confident that Tokyo 2020 can overcome the issues.
Organizers have said that single-layer underwater screens that were installed in Tokyo Bay have helped in reducing the bacteria, but triple-layer screens will be placed by the time the Games begin.
Tokyo 2020 also confirmed yesterday that the NOCs of South Korea had sent to organizers a letter to express concern at the possibility of produce grown in Fukushima Prefecture that would be served to athletes in the Olympic village.
The NOCs of South Korea says it is worried that food produced in Fukushima can be contaminated by the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant which was severely damaged by the 2011 tsunami.
Tokyo 2020’s Director of NOC Services Toru Kobayashi said that within their planning framework, they would respond to the NOCs of South Korea accordingly and properly.