Bach re­minds Tokyo to stick with cur­rent venue plans

Malta Independent - - SPORT -

IOC Pres­i­dent Thomas Bach ex­pressed will­ing­ness yes­ter­day to work with Tokyo of­fi­cials to achieve a "sig­nif­i­cant re­duc­tion" in costs for the 2020 Olympics, but sug­gested the ef­fort should stick to the cur­rent venue plans.

Bach ar­rived in Ja­pan amid grow­ing ten­sion be­tween Olympic or­ga­niz­ers and re­cently elected Tokyo Gov. Yuriko Koike, who is push­ing to cut costs. A pre­lim­i­nary re­port from a city ex­pert panel late last month pro­posed mov­ing three sports from planned new venues to ex­ist­ing ones — in­clud­ing re­lo­cat­ing row­ing to a site hun­dreds of miles out­side the cap­i­tal.

Bach re­minded the gov­er­nor that Tokyo should re­spect the agree­ment it signed when it was awarded the games three years ago.

"I think it is in the in­ter­est of Ja­pan, Tokyo and IOC that we do not change the rules of the com­pe­ti­tion after the elec­tion," Bach said. "By re­spect­ing th­ese prin­ci­ples we can very well look into the bud­get of Tokyo 2020 and we can look at the cost. We can see to­gether how we can make it even more fea­si­ble."

Bach pro­posed four-party talks among the In­ter­na­tional Olympic Com­mit­tee, Tokyo or­ga­niz­ers, the city gov­ern­ment and Ja­pan's cen­tral gov­ern­ment to agree on ad­di­tional cost re­duc­tions, start­ing as early as Novem­ber after Tokyo re­leases a fi­nal re­port. Bach de­clined to dis­cuss spe­cific pro­pos­als, say­ing he only knew about them from me­dia re­ports.

The Tokyo metropoli­tan gov­ern­ment will fi­nal­ize its in­ter­nal study, then we'll dis­cuss it with the other stake­hold­ers ... and then I am con­fi­dent that you will see a sig­nif­i­cant re­duc­tion in the cost com­pared to what we have seen so far from the press," Bach told re­porters after a 40-minute tele­vised meet­ing with Koike.

The Tokyo panel's pre­lim­i­nary re­port said the over­all cost of the Olympics could ex­ceed $30 bil­lion — four times the ini­tial es­ti­mate — un­less dras­tic cuts are made.

he re­view fo­cuses on whether each venue can be cost-ef­fec­tive while also con­trib­ute to the re­con­struc­tion of the area hit by the 2011 tsunami and Fukushima dis­as­ter.

"That's how we have pro­moted to at­tract the games," Koike said. "We need un­der­stand­ing of the res­i­dents of Tokyo as we are re­ly­ing on their money."

The IOC has sug­gested the pos­si­bil­ity of mov­ing row­ing to an ex­ist­ing site in South Korea in case there is no res­o­lu­tion over the Ja­panese venue, the Asahi news­pa­per re­ported, quot­ing uniden­ti­fied Ja­panese sources as say­ing. The South Korean venue in Chungiu City hosted the 2013 world cham­pi­onships and row­ing at the 2014 Asian Games.

Asked about the re­port at Tokyo's Haneda air­port, Bach said: "I will not com­ment on any kind of ru­mors." Ja­panese Olympic Min­is­ter Ta­mayo Marukawa told re­porters she could not con­firm the re­port.

Tokyo won the right to host the games in 2013 by promis­ing a com­pact bid with 28 of the 31 com­pe­ti­tion venues within a fivemile (eight-kilo­me­ter) ra­dius of the Olympic Vil­lage. Barns­ley-New­cas­tle . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 0-2 Birm­ing­ham-Rother­ham . . . . . . . . . . 4-2 Black­burn-Nott.For­est . . . . . . . . . . . 2-1 Brighton-Wolves . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1-0 Derby-Brent­ford . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 0-0 Ful­ham-Nor­wich . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2-2 Ip­swich-Bur­ton . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2-0 Leeds-Wi­gan . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1-1 QPR-Bris­tol City . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1-0 Read­ing-As­ton Villa . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1-2

League 1

Yes­ter­day Brad­ford-Southend . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1-1 Bury-Wim­ble­don . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1-2 Ch­ester­field-Fleet­wood . . . . . . . . . . 0-1 Coven­try-Ox­ford Utd . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2-1 Gilling­ham-Wal­sall . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1-1 Mill­wall-Bolton . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 0-2 MK Dons-Bris­tol Rovers . . . . . . . . . . 3-3 Old­ham-Scun­thorpe . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2-0 Peter­bor­ough-Northamp­ton . . . . . . 3-0 Port Vale-Charl­ton . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1-1 Shrews­bury-Sh­effield Utd . . . . . . . . . 0-3 Swin­don Town-Rochdale . . . . . . . . . 3-0

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