Tokyo braces for typhoon, reschedules Olympic rowing events


Tokyo 2020 is bracing itself for a typhoon that is set to hit the city early next week, and organizers have already preemptively moved around the rowing schedule in anticipation.

Olympics organizers have shifted Monday’s races to Sunday, with other heats moved forward to Saturday. With the competitors already battling high temperatures in Tokyo, the local organizing committee is also now preparing for a typhoon to hit the Olympics early next week.

“Unlike an earthquake, we’re able to predict the path of a typhoon so we can make plans, and indeed when it comes to rowing, as a preventative measure, we have decided to change the schedule for the event,” said Takaya Masa, spokesperson of the Tokyo 2020 organizing committee. “Changing the schedule is not a rare event, and we understand the burden it’ll have on athletes. We’re looking closely at the path of the typhoon to make decisions as preventative measures. Should it make land, there could be damages, and if that’s going to be the case, we will take responsible measures.

“At this point in time I cannot offer you exactly what will happen, but we will be paying a close eye to it.”

The shift means some competitors who were featured in the opening ceremony, such as Great Britain’s Mohamed Sbihi, will have to compete the following day. The USOPC said the decision to move the schedule around was “due to inclement weather forecast for Monday.”

Though organizers are optimistic only rowing will be affected by the storm, they are staying in close contact with the Japan Meteorological Agency. The storm was upgraded on Friday from a tropical cyclone to a typhoon and is set to hit Tokyo early next week.

“The abilities of the Japanese Meteorological Agency and their abilities to foresee what’s coming up is a very big plus, so we’re fortunate to have such technology made available,” Christophe Dubi, sports director for the International Olympic Committee, said.

“We’ve made the decision a few days before the rowing. This is anticipated, which is a good thing as it’s not that day, or that minute, where we have to make the call. So this is a comfortable environment for us to be in.”


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