Tokyo Olympics: Typhoon poses major threat as Games chiefs brace for storm

By Sports Desk July 23, 2021

Organisers of the troubled Tokyo Olympics are facing a new headache with the prospect of an incoming typhoon early in the Games.

Monday's rowing events have already been moved to Sunday, to guard against the possibility of the powerful storm hitting Japan's capital.

Masa Takaya, spokesperson for the Tokyo 2020 organising committee, addressed the threat posed by the tropical cyclone after it was confirmed there was "adverse weather" expected on Monday.

He said the issue had been "discussed in crisis management", with the typhoon currently off shore but heading in the general direction of Tokyo, according to some forecasts.

"Unlike an earthquake, we are able to predict the path of a typhoon, therefore we can prepare in advance," Takaya added.

"Especially when it comes to rowing, as a preventative measure we have decided to change the schedule.

"For the athlete we understand it is going to be a substantial burden; however, this is a case that has been experienced in past Olympics Games as well.

"But of course we are looking very closely at the path of the typhoon to ensure there are decisions made as a preventive measure."

Already delayed by a year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and taking place largely behind closed doors, the Tokyo Games got under way in unprecedented circumstances.

A major storm, particularly one that might cause damage and even a threat to human life, would be another daunting hurdle that organisers would need to be ready for.

Sailing and surfing are among other sports on Monday's schedule.

Takaya added: "Should a typhoon make landfall there could be damages both human and also physical damages. When that should be the case, we would take responsible measures.

"As to what will happen in the days ahead, we are not able to accurately predict. At this point, I will not be able to inform you exactly as to what [action] precisely will be taken."

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