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International Games
Wednesday, November 02, 2016
Rowing May Be Cut for 2020 Olympics

Bermuda Olympian Shelley Pearson wlll be keeping a close eye on things as plans to develop a new rowing and canoe sprint course at Sea Forest for the 2020 Olympics must either be downgraded or scrapped entirely in order to save costs, a Tokyo Metropolitan Government panel have proposed in a final report.

Publication of the report coincided with the first meeting of a four-party technical working group also consisting of representatives from the International Olympic Committee (IOC), Tokyo 2020 and the Central Government.

In a final report submitted to Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike, it was proposed that a downgrading of the proposed Sea Forest course on Tokyo Bay from permanent to temporary status could cut costs from a projected $660 million to around $280 million.

Alternatively, using the existing Naganuma facility in Miyagi Prefecture 400 kilometres away would cut costs to an estimated $330 million.

This was described as the only realistic alternative to the Sea Forest venue.

The panel of outside experts also claim that total costs could rise to around $30 billion - four times the initial budget - if severe cuts are not made.

Two proposals were put forward for a new Aquatics Stadium designed to host swimming, diving and synchronised swimming in 2020.

These involved seating being slashed to either 20,000 or 15,000 were changed, although an initial idea by the panel to make the venue temporary has been abandoned.

The sports world is opposed to any further changes, however, to a venue plan which had already been finalised.

Proposals to shift or change the rowing and canoe sprint venue is likely to prove particularly contentious.

Officials from both sports claim the Sea Forest venue is the only one that fits its requirements.
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