Olympics: Tokyo National Stadium 90% finished, to open in December

Olympics: Tokyo National Stadium 90% finished, to open in December

TOKYO (REUTERS) – With the start of the Tokyo 2020 Olympics a little over a year away, the National Stadium, set to be the centrepiece of the Games, is 90 per cent completed and will open its doors for the first time in December.

The media were shown inside the US$1.25 billion (S$1.7 billion) stadium on Wednesday (July 3), 387 days before the opening ceremony will be held at the venue.

The 60,000-capacity stadium, which will also host athletics and football during the Games, was designed by Japanese architect Kengo Kuma and aims to embody Japan’s connection with nature.

Wood collected from all of Japan’s 47 prefectures has been used to build the stadium’s iconic slated roof, and the seats, 45,000 of which have been installed, are a mix of green, brown and white to reflect trees growing.

The final preparations are being completed before a public inauguration event on Dec 21.

“The work for this stadium has been going on for three years and we have five months to go,” said National Stadium development director Takeo Takahashi.

“About 90 per cent of the construction work has been completed and, as you can see, almost all the buildings have been completed.

“We are now working on the interior and facility equipment inside the stadium.

“The grass and track have yet to be laid but this is expected to be completed in the next month.

The Olympic Stadium is one of eight new venues to be used at Tokyo 2020, all of which are on schedule for completion.

The Musashino Forest Sports Plaza, a venue to be used at the Games but not built specifically for the Games, was opened in November 2017 while the newly built archery and rowing venues have recently opened.

The canoe slalom venue is set to be unveiled on Saturday while construction continues at the Aquatics Centre, which is 75 per cent complete, the Gymnastics Centre and Ariake Arena, which will host volleyball and wheelchair basketball.

The first apartments are also being completed at the Olympic and Paralympic village, with the organisers saying that 88 to 92 per cent of all residential buildings are finished.

There will be 18,000 beds available at the village during the Olympics, 12,000 of those for athletes, and 8,000 in use during the Paralympics.

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