Tokyo 2020 is set to resume test event with spectators planned for athletics in May

Tokyo 2020 is set to resume test events for the Olympic and Paralympic Games, with organizers hopeful of inviting overseas competitors and domestic spectators to an athletics competition in May.

Sport climbing's test event at the Aomi Urban Sports Park was the last to be held in March last year, prior to the COVID-19 pandemic which ultimately forced the postponement of the Games to 2021.

Organizers plan to hold 18 test events prior to the rescheduled Games, with 17 based in the Japanese capital.

Sapporo will host the marathon test event on May 5.

Several of the test events will be operational, while others will be held under the "Ready, Steady, Tokyo" banner.

Test events will officially resume on April 3 and 4, with organizers conducting an operational test for wheelchair rugby at the Yoyogi National Stadium.

Water polo, diving, rugby, swimming and cycling test events are also planned to take place in April, with the May schedule including volleyball, artistic swimming, gymnastics, athletics, skateboarding, 3x3 basketball and shooting.

Tokyo 2020 said the Organizing Committee would be in charge of 14 of the test events.

The International Swimming Federation will oversee the artistic swimming, diving and water polo test events, with World Athletics in charge of the marathon event in Sapporo.

Tokyo 2020 Games delivery officer Hidemasa Nakamura suggested the four events run by International Federations could potentially include athletes from overseas, while the attendance of fans may also be possible.

Nakamura confirmed the athletics test event on May 9 will be the only event run by Tokyo 2020 to feature both overseas athletes and local spectators.

The test event will take place less than 12 weeks before the New National Stadium is due to stage athletics at the rearranged Olympics, which are due to open on July 23.

The stadium can have a capacity of 68,089 when used for athletics, with the test event likely to offer information to organizers over the feasibility and potential number of spectators that can be present during the Olympics and Paralympics.

"For athletics and the marathon we are thinking about having spectators and overseas athletes will be invited so we can have comprehensive measures tested," Nakamura said.

"During the athletics test events we will have to collect information so we can make decisions."

Nakamura added that the test events will be smaller and more focused on the operational requirements of the sports.


posted Wednesday March 31st
by Michael Pavitt