July 20, 2018 / 4:21 AM / 2 months ago

Tokyo 2020 needs foreign help: IOC's Coates

TOKYO (Reuters) - International Olympic Committee (IOC) Vice President John Coates has said 2020 Tokyo Games organizers must seek foreign expertise in sports where the country has little tradition or experience.

FILE PHOTO: International Olympic Committee (IOC) Chairman of the Coordination Commission for the Tokyo 2020 Games John Coates speaks during a news conference in Tokyo, Japan, May 26, 2016. REUTERS/Thomas Peter Picture Supplied by Action Images

“Obviously in sports in which Japan is not traditionally strong, and doesn’t have a lot of experience in, then more liaison work with international federations is necessary,” Kyodo News quoted Coates as saying.

“The federations are not going to have to worry too much about karate or judo or baseball or softball — track and field, great experience there, swimming too — but you go to rowing, canoeing, some of those sports, and it is going to need greater reliance on the international federations, in terms of operational planning.”

The comments come after some federations – including sailing and baseball – raised concerns about Japan’s ability to deliver their events to Olympic standard.

At April’s SportAccord Convention in Bangkok, organizers faced criticism from federations over issues such as competition planning, water pollution and communications.

Coates, the chairman of the IOC’s Coordination Committee for the 2020 Games, also highlighted transport as a major challenge still remaining for organizers.

“Particularly we want to make sure that the athletes, technical officials and spectators are able to get to the events,” said the Australian.

“The link between, for example, a railway and a venue, that the buses are going to be there when they come off the railway to take them into the venue, all of those type of things, is the planning that still needs to be done,” he added.

Tuesday (July 24) marks the two-year countdown to the start of the Games.

Reporting by Jack Tarrant; Editing by Peter Rutherford

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