olympics

Tokyo 2020 marathon move decision 'final', says IOC's Coates

53 Comments
By Natsuko Fukue

The requested article has expired, and is no longer available. Any related articles, and user comments are shown below.

© 2019 AFP

©2019 GPlusMedia Inc.

53 Comments
Login to comment

awesome! koike must be flipping mad

6 ( +11 / -5 )

Worries about Tokyo's notoriously hot and humid summer weather have dogged preparations for the Games, 

BULL, the only thing the IOC was worried about until now, was just how much money they could pull in to their coffers. Now that the preparations are so far along that they can not turn back, they use Doha as the excuse to force changes. (My opinion here)

1 ( +8 / -7 )

There are voices among Tokyo residents who want explanations as to why this situation is occurring, and if a word from on high simply decides everything," she said.

How poetic, "voices who want explanations" "word from on high"...lol!

Seems to me that if the "word from on high" came from a Japanese source, everyone would just suck through their teeth, say a quick "shoganai" and deal with it.

Because it came from someone from gaikokuland they feel it's ok to question the demand!

2 ( +11 / -9 )

There is still the question of who is going to pay for the cost of staging the marathon in Sapporo. Koike is adamant that Tokyo won't. Also, I read the other day that Sapporo will require a ton of money to make the necessary alterations to Sapporo Dome for the marathon. They need to create a large entrance for runners to enter the dome from the street at the end of the race and they need to lay down an oval running course around the dome for the final lap. After the Olympics, they then have to put everything back to how it was.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

IOC had the "health and welfare of the athletes" in mind.

Gov Yuriko Koike, who earlier in the day said she was opposed to the plan to move the events to the city of Sapporo and described it as a "bolt from the blue".

Health and welfare of the athletes, not that complicated.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

Typical IOC arrogance.... countries need to take a stand against the IOC and instead of falling all over themselves to host the Olympics need to tell Coates and his pals the conditions upon they will accept this over-rated circus. How many countries have actually benefited from hosting the Olympics? Very, very few I suspect.

5 ( +13 / -8 )

So why did the IOC give Tokyo the Olympics in the first place? Did they not know that August in Tokyo is really hot and humid? As long as we are changing things, how about moving the Olympics to October, like in 1964?

11 ( +16 / -5 )

"There are voices among Tokyo residents who want explanations as to why this situation is occurring, and if a word from on high simply decides everything," she said.

Here's why: Welcome to culture clash, Tokyo. You're simply witnessing a foreign management style. That's how many organizations decide things. Someone with the authority to do so changes course midstream without consultation of any kind and the team gets on with making it happen. Of course, that method of decision making is foreign to Japan which relies on meetings and pre-meeting meetings before any question can be settled.

The IOC is a body which works in that manner and they make all the final decisions concerning the Olympics whatever country they are in. It's part of the agreement between the host country and the IOC. No input is necessary. Call it arrogance if you like, but that's how it is.

That does not satisfy the question of why the IOC gave the games to Tokyo at the height of summer in the first place. That quite mystifies me. However, now that they have, they're in charge and no number of locals who want explanations will make any difference.

8 ( +10 / -2 )

He said the IOC would propose holding the medal ceremonies for the events in Tokyo, as well as a parade through the city's streets featuring athletes.

I hope it's in air conditioned vehicles.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

As long as we are changing things, how about moving the Olympics to October, like in 1964?

And again, impossible, the dates wont change, just the locations. The amount of money, planning, and everything would be a logistical nightmare.

Folks need to stop asking this question!

2 ( +6 / -4 )

"Unfortunately we haven't been given a reason that's convincing to everyone,"

Then you are an idiot Koike. The reasons are as clear as day.

"There are voices among Tokyo residents who want explanations as to why this situation is occurring, and if a word from on high simply decides everything,"

...and you are a hypocrite too. This is literally how most things work in Japan - a word from on high simply decides everything.

0 ( +8 / -8 )

"Unfortunately we haven't been given a reason that's convincing to everyone," she told reporters.

The "unconvinced" ones should go at midnight to one of the Tokyo city gym equipped with treadmills. Move the machines inside the sauna, make sure to get 28 degrees and maximum humidity. Then, at 3 am, let the "unconvinced" team led by Koike run for the next 2 hours.

why the IOC gave the games to Tokyo

Sold, not gave. Ms Koike has kept the ryoshusho so if she doesn't get her races, she'll claim for a refund. What the boss said :

There would also be discussions about the economic losses incurred as a result of the decision, he added.

3 ( +7 / -4 )

So why did the IOC give Tokyo the Olympics in the first place? Did they not know that August in Tokyo is really hot and humid? As long as we are changing things, how about moving the Olympics to October, like in 1964?

Did they know it would be held in August? Last time was in October.

-5 ( +1 / -6 )

if the moneygrubbing nepotistic IOC want to moves one of the few event that people who live in tokyo can see for free, they should pay for it. otherwise tokyo should boycott the olympics.

1 ( +6 / -5 )

I have always thought that the Tokyo Olympics are a huge waste of money and holding them in July / August, at the peak of Japanese summer in Tokyo, is utter insanity.

So, the idea of holding the marathon in Sapporo is, in and of itself, not a bad idea.

That said, the manner in which this was handled is the ultimate in arrogance. And, no, this is not foreign management style. This is imperious, dictatorial behavior.

Frankly, it is an affront to Japan as a nation.

"It's not a matter of if the Tokyo government insists, the decision has been taken," said Coates, answering "no" when asked if there was any chance the events could still be staged in Tokyo.

So, let's see. An organization that has no authority over Japan as a nation or over Sapporo or Tokyo as municipalities is dictating what will happen.

-- Sapporo wasn't involved and yet they are being told it will be held in their city. The decision is final.

-- Tokyo wasn't involved and yet they are being told it won't be held in their city. The decision is final.

This idea that the decision is final is absurd!! I mean, what if Sapporo said "no". What if Tokyo said that if the marathon is moved, the city will provide NO support for anything related to the Olympics.

Honestly, the IOC can't make this happen unless the Japanese permit it to happen. And with less than a year to go until the Olympics, it is unrealistic that the IOC could move the Olympics.

So, the idea that the decision is FINAL is just arrogant posturing, pure and simple!

But, that said, there are three key parties that are being UNBELIEVABLY quiet in all of this: the Tokyo Olympics Organizing Committee, the Japan Olympic Committee, and the Japanese national government.

Why are they being quiet??? Well, I suspect that the IOC has been discussing this with them and they all agreed to the change without consulting Tokyo or Sapporo. Basically, the TOOC and the JOC signed off after discussing with the Japanese government. That is my suspicion, anyway!!

And all three probably figured that Sapporo would be happy to have the event. And there was nothing Koike could do to stop it. And since she isn't one of the good ole' boys, they didn't have to worry about her feelings or anything.

Regardless, I despise the imperious arrogance of the IOC. They are beneath contempt.

7 ( +10 / -3 )

@quercetum Well, it is the "summer" Olympics. Japan was thinking of October this time too, but Japan buckled to pressure of US broadcasters who didn't want the Olympics to interfere with their Autumn sports programming. It is Japan's fault.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Everything seems too late. IOC, JOC, Tokyo and Sapporo don't want to pay large amount of money for the change. Who pays for that? Snow falls soon in Hokkaido until April, so they can't prepare for new route, accommodations, staffs/volunteers, facilities, etc, etc from now while snowing a lot. IOC should have told 2-3 years ago.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

It's unfortunate but the right decision. How many people would get up at 3am to watch the marathon either outside or on TV? Not many. How many athletes wouldn't be able to finish the whole marathon due to the heat in Tokyo? A lot of them (just like in Doha). The only risk being that Sapporo has one of those freakishly hot days and turns out to be hotter than Tokyo! It happened once this year.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

So, who bought the Tokyo Summer Games? There's a scam here. A REALLY BIG scam. Frankly, I hope the marathoners boycott the whole thing. That would put some legitimacy into their sport. But, then again, it would require courage, and Olympic athletes, while they may have endurance and passion, aren't known for their courage, except for the Paralympic athletes. What a debacle!!!

0 ( +3 / -3 )

It seems to me that most spectators are complaining much more about hot temperature/humidity and athletes will not complain much about such things. If route place is decided whether route is hot temperature there, high steep hills or a lot of rain fall, whatever,,, marathon athletes just train to adapt body for the route condition. If athletes think they can't run, they do not join in the race. Race route can't be always nice and flat with comfortable temperature. All countries have different route conditions. Tokyo have nothing wrong for marathon race and walk race.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

The marathon is the premiere ending, of the Olympics have 10 of thousands of fans, cheering the runners on as they enter the stadium

3 ( +4 / -1 )

I’m disappointed. I was looking forward to watching great endurance races in midsummer Tokyo.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

If it is moved to Sapporo, it will cost hundreds of millions of USD. This is not a "just do it" situation.

If you look at the detailed weather station data, Hachioji is a couple of degrees cooler and heats up slower than Tokyo at that time of day in early August. I say Hachioji because it is in the greater Tokyo area itself. If Sapporo is to be chosen, we should not rely solely on the IOC's knowledge of Japanese geography.

6 ( +8 / -2 )

Koike said -

*"..."There are voices among Tokyo residents who want explanations as to why this situation is occurring, and if a word from on high simply decides everything," she said..."*

Why?

Simple. Because the JOC & Co lied as to the "normal" weather conditions in late July / August to the IOC when vying for the olympics.

I'm sure the IOC, while trying to put up a "business as usual" smiley face these past few years, deep down is really pi**ed off.

Unfortunately weather is unpredicatable as witnessed by the terrible events of October here, but it would have been a given with a 90%+ certainty, that the 6 weeks of the Tokyo olympics will be hot with days of extreme humidity.

Abe said it would be "sunny & comfortable". Wrong.

So a "word from on high" decided everything.

0 ( +5 / -5 )

koike has egg all over her face.

-3 ( +3 / -6 )

adding that the IOC had the "health and welfare of the athletes" in mind.

Really? If this were the case, they would not have made Tokyo host the games in August in the first place. The marathon and walking events are only a few of the extensively strenuous events. Athletes and spectators are still going to die.

4 ( +7 / -3 )

The thing I love about this, apart from the obvious benefits to the athletes health, is that Koike lost face. Gold!

-1 ( +5 / -6 )

Simple. Because the JOC & Co lied as to the "normal" weather conditions in late July / August to the IOC when vying for the olympics.

That's very naive. The IOC is not ignorant. It comprises globe-trotting and well informed people from around the world. They knew perfectly well what the summers are like in Tokyo. But money is their overriding consideration.

Now as the date approaches, they are having second thoughts is all.

14 ( +15 / -1 )

If hot temperature is a problem. IOC let marathoners run around 400m track 103 times inside the national stadium under nice temperature. Some one says marathon is a road race, but it doesn't matter. they can run 2hrs+minutes very comfortably and they would have best new records.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

Seems to me that if the "word from on high" came from a Japanese source, everyone would just suck through their teeth, say a quick "shoganai" and deal with it.

Because it came from someone from gaikokuland they feel it's ok to question the demand!

Well would you want your house guests to dictate to you which room they will lounge in? This decision never should have been without consulting the affected parties. It was highly disrespectful. The IOC should foot the cost or cancel the marathon events this year.

2 ( +6 / -4 )

I'm wondering, all the sponsors who thought they would get exposure in Tokyo, whether they want a refund. I would.

Anyway, as far as power the IOC is perfectly entitled to do as they please with their game. But it remains to be seen whether Sapporo can cope with the short time frame and resources required to host the events.

Sapporo airport capacity will be interesting, it's already struggling as it is.

If I was part of the organising committe here in Japan I would insist on everything in writing from now, the IOC has a habit of reaming other people with unworkable instructions then point the finger afterwards.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

There must be some stipulation in the contract about moving events. Otherwise there would be more uproar about this.

The marathon is the whole reason the Olympics started in the first place! Having it forcefully moved to a different city than the host is really crazy and nonsensical.

The IOC should have looked into it more when the Japan bid said that ‘August is mild and sunny and conducive to athletes performance’.

Anybody who has spent any amount of time in Tokyo in Aug would have agreed to move the whole event to later in the year.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

I'll call the IOC's move Abuse of Power. The weather in Tokyo was not a secret, and could not feasibly be. So that means there are no changes in factors. If an agency wants to justify a major change, it needs changed circumstances (changed facts). Otherwise, it is just arbitrariness that's going to cost Japan greatly.

-2 ( +4 / -6 )

If this were the case, they would not have made Tokyo host the games in August in the first place

When tgey made their decision on Tokyo it was their final decision, now Sapporo is their final decision, wait for sponsors to withdraw, then the IOC will have another 'final' devision ;-). Final is pretty fluid....

1 ( +4 / -3 )

So Japan and the IOC had years to change their minds about the venue. Yet they choose less than a year remaining to change the entire city? Good job all planners involved. You guys are doing a spectacular job.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

I just wonder whether Sapporo mayor accepted the host of marathon event there in the first place or not. If not, nothing would work ahead. Snow falls soon (end of October) there until April and they can't prepare much while snowing a lot. It seems to me the last final decision would go back to Tokyo again.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Regardless, I despise the imperious arrogance of the IOC. They are beneath contempt.

so the athletes health should not be used to disrupt Tokyos public viewing pleasure!? The Olympic is more than just Tokyo it should be for all of Japan and that means sharing the events after all the bill will be paid for by all Japanese, If Tokyoites want all the Olympics for all themselves then they should pay all the bill

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

That does not satisfy the question of why the IOC gave the games to Tokyo at the height of summer in the first place. That quite mystifies me. 

Just look up Dentsu, Singapore, Black Tiding, Tsunekaza Takeda.

French investigators are still examining $2 million authorized by Japanese Olympic Committee President Tsunekazu Takeda and paid to the Singapore-based consulting company Black Tidings and its head Ian Tan Tong Han. Black Tidings is suspected of channeling the money to Papa Massata Diack, one of the sons of the former IOC member from Senegal, Lamine Diack.

TV Sponsorship, primarily from the USA does not want any clashes with the busy and lucrative US sports schedule, so the games are scheduled for Jul/ Aug. The money involved is too big for the Lords of the Rings to turn down.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Why isn't Fukushima getting any love from Tokyo? The main focus should be there, on recovery. The entire Olympic experience should be about aiding and assisting that.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

commanteerToday 09:40 am JST

Simple. Because the JOC & Co lied as to the "normal" weather conditions in late July / August to the IOC when vying for the olympics.

That's very naive. The IOC is not ignorant. It comprises globe-trotting and well informed people from around the world. They knew perfectly well what the summers are like in Tokyo. But money is their overriding consideration.

Thanks for your reply.

Sorry, I thought I was being obviously sarcastic.

You know -

A-san: "Oh no why is this happening?"

B-san: "Because fake info was given". Wink, Wink!

Of course the ioc check everything, esp the moolah.

What this brouhaha does bring out though, is that the olympics is controlled by the world body, in this case the IOC. Other major world sporting events follow suit. FIFA controls football. WR controls rugby. FINA controls swimmming.

While the host nations play an integral part(probably main) in holding events, they are always subject to the final decisions of their relative sports governing bodies.

Tokyo knew this.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Fantastic! The Japanese having to follow another organisations manual for a change! Manual says, “No”.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

So the answer is yes, a word from on high does solve everything. A clear "no" indeed. Must have fried the oyagi brains

1 ( +2 / -1 )

So why did the IOC give Tokyo the Olympics in the first place?

Why are French prosecutors investigating the former JOC chief?

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Coates said other options that have been mooted, including starting the events as early as 3:00 am, were impractical because of transportation issues and the difficulty of filming in the dark.

I suspect this has more to do with not wanting to film the marathon in the dark than the health and well being of the runners. Besides, it would only be "dark" for the first hour or so. I am sure Tokyo can provide adequate transportation during that night and early morning.

It would be a shame if Tokyo can't show off the city during the marathon.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

People are talking about the relationship between Tokyo and the IOC. Here are 3 other things to look into.

1 - The relationship between Tokyo and Sapporo.

The vice-mayor's reaction was "It would be an honour", not "It's Tokyo's Olympics. Have the IOC and Tokyo give us a call and then we might consider it."

2 - What is in the Tokyo Olympic Contract?

Note that Tokyo doesn't pick up the full bill for the Olympics. Federal funding was guaranteed.

The Prime Minister was equally involved in the sales pitch which makes the Olympics a National Event.

I would love to see the fine print which says that the IOC can move events anyplace with suitable facilities. (Probably any venue which has ever hosted National or an Olympic Qualifying Event).

3 - HIstorical Weather for Olympic Marathons.

You can't count Rio or Sydney because they were in the opposite hemisphere. London is also not known for its heat. Atlanta's race started in the evening after the day had reached 32. Barcelona was also held in the evening. And then there was DOHA this past summer....

5 ( +5 / -0 )

There are already very few Countries that want to host the Olympics, especially the Summer Olympics. They are expensive and most of people in developed Countries are against hosting these games. Thanks to this blatant display of arrogance and fake innocence and ignorance by IOC, that apparently don't know geography and weather conditions of the host Countries, and they are aware of them only some months before the events, I think they can organize their next stupid games on the moon. Same with FIFA and their crap World Cup. It will become always more difficult to them, finding candidates for these events, since the opposition of the local population is always stronger. People in many Countries, also here in Europe, need better infrastructures, services, schools, hospitals, etc. not these embarrassing games.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Everyone seems to forget the purpose of the Olympics is to highlight the best performance in sport. Sapporo is a great place (in Japan) for athletes to challenge themselves in the type of atmosphere they trained in. I do not see a problem with moving it. Sure people will need to change the reservations etc. but there is still time.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Osaka_Doug, that is an extremely idealistic belief. That may have been the purpose of the Olympics a long time ago, but times have changed.

The purpose of the Olympics is to bring prestige to countries, boost the egos of politicians in the countries that hold them like Abe and Koike, and, of course, increase the flow of money, some of which feeds corruption.

Idealism in the Olympics died long ago. Anything goes to win, which is why doping continues in spite of checks.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

You would be mistaken to think the guy in the picture is calling the shots. You should know this being in Japan. Major decisions are made not by the person announcing the decision but by the power behind the curtain.

You really think Coates just announces Sapporo without consulting the Japan Olympic Committee and Tokyo Olympic Organizing Committee? Impossible.

Koike’s response just made them dig in their heels deeper and brought about the “Decision Final.” This form of expression is masculine and intended to show Koike who’s not in charge. What began as a concern for athletes ends up being political with possible payback to Koike for moving the Tsukiji fish market.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

if the moneygrubbing nepotistic IOC want to moves one of the few event that people who live in tokyo can see for free, they should pay for it. otherwise tokyo should boycott the olympics.

Kanagawa, Chiba and Saitama will take over incase Tokyo decides to boycott the Olympics.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Read through the comments and story. One question/explanation that was never mentioned; Haneda and Narita Airports will most likely be over max capacity. Exactly where are they going to get the additional planes and do they have the space for the planes for thousands of people going to and from Sapporo?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

So what events can I see for free now? Or at the very least, not have to spend a fortune on. Table tennis tickets still available?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Privileged Yuriki Koike, having grown up in Ashiya where most of the inhabitants usually drive or take a taxi, has little knowledge of walking,let alone running around in the summer heat!

And maybe she can’t understand the word ‘no’ in English?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Login to leave a comment

Facebook users

Use your Facebook account to login or register with JapanToday. By doing so, you will also receive an email inviting you to receive our news alerts.

Facebook Connect

Login with your JapanToday account

User registration

Articles, Offers & Useful Resources

A mix of what's trending on our other sites