IOC: Fukushima to host first baseball, softball games at 2020 Games

Published July 1st, 2017 - 11:04 GMT
The 2020 Tokyo Olympics logo
The 2020 Tokyo Olympics logo

The first baseball and softball games involving hosts Japan at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics will be held in the disaster-hit Fukushima prefecture, International Olympic Committee (IOC) vice-president John Coates said Friday.

"We decided that there will be no change, and there's no proposal from the IOC of any change to what has been agreed," said Coates, chair of the IOC coordination committee on the conclusion of its latest three-day trip to Japan.

"We've confirmed the first baseball game and the first softball game involving Japan will be held in Fukushima. Then all the other games will be held in Yokohama, one venue," south of the Japanese capital.

The first matches will be played at the Azuma Baseball Stadium in the city of Fukushima, 60 kilometres north-west of the damaged Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station.

The plant suffered a triple meltdown after it was hit by a powerful earthquake and resulting tsunami on March 11, 2011. Tens of thousands of residents have been unable to return home near the site due to radioactive contamination.

Coates visited the National Stadium, the Olympic Village and the Aquatic Centre.

He said the construction of the National Stadium will be completed in November 2019 as planned.

Coates had hoped to see the venues of the 3-on-3 basketball and BMX freestyle decided this week, however, "We haven't finalized the location," he said.

"But neither of those require new venues to be constructed so I don't think it will cause any problem. We're not creating any difficulties for ourselves, I can assure [you]."

© 2019 dpa GmbH

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