Tokyo enters final straight in Olympics preparations

Tokyo 2020 organizers have entered the final stretch of a decade of Olympics planning since the late January, six months before the official start of the Games, with most key wobbles in the rearview mirror.

The organizers are having to deal with fewer issues than their counterparts did in the preparation for Rio four years ago. However, there are still some challenges that remain before the opening ceremony on July 24, including the notoriously hot summer weather of Tokyo.

What is the most different from Brazil is the weight of public support behind the 2020 Tokyo Games, with about 4.5 million Olympics Games tickets having been sold on the domestic market.

Meanwhile, the 2016 Rio Olympics were suffered a lot of criticism over the use of public funds because money was poured into sports svenues which have since almost become white elephants.

The centerpiece of Tokyo’s new Olympics facilities might be the 68,000-capacity National Stadium opened by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in December.

Construction was not always smoothy and started about 14 months later than having been planned after outcry over the original design.

Other difficulties are the fact that the Japanese Olympic Committee president Tsunekazu Takeda resigned last year after allegations of suspected corruption that was related to bidding for this year’s Olympics Games.

Moreover, last December, Russians were barred by the World Anti-Doping Agency from competing at key international events for four years due to punishment over doctoring laboratory drug test data. Russia are appealing the decision, making it uncertain whether or not athletes will compete under the Russian flag in Tokyo.

However, the largest issue for Olympics organizers, is how to deal with the host city’s sweltering summer heat in July and August, when it regularly exceed 30°C (86°F) with high humidity.

To deal with this problem, the International Olympic Committee decided to move the marathon and race walking events 800km from north to Sapporo. It means that Tokyo will not host to one of the Olympics’ signature events but organizers say it won’t affect the Games.

Although final preparations still need to be made, Tokyo is in celebratory mood.

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