Preparations for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games are on track with Sunday’s inauguration of the Sea Forest Waterway, a new permanent venue to be used during the Games.
Rowing and canoe sprint competitions
The venue will host the Olympic Games rowing and canoe sprint competitions and the Paralympic Games rowing and canoe competitions.
Located close to Tokyo, the venue will offer stunning views of Tokyo Bay and Tokyo Gate Bridge to athletes, spectators and broadcasters.
Key features of the venue
Constructed by the Tokyo Metropolitan Government on a waterfront site, the course is protected from the effect of waves, currents and tides by wave absorbers and two dams.
The venue also includes:
- start facilities
- a finish tower
- a timing hut
- a boathouse
- a 2,000-seat grandstand
Additional temporary seating and standing areas will be available during the Games so that the Sea Forest Waterway can host a maximum of 16,000 spectators.
Accessibility for all
In line with Tokyo 2020 Accessibility Guidelines, the venue was designed to be accessible to all, including the elderly, people with impairments, parents with prams and people with guide dogs.
The venue includes universally designed toilets and wheelchair-accessible seats. Areas are also designed with enough height difference between the rows of seating to ensure those in wheelchairs can see clearly, even if spectators in front of them stand up.
The venue also has solar panels and other state-of-the-art technology to help reduce the facility's carbon footprint.
An opening ceremony took place with Japanese Paralympians, Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike, the Minister for the Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games Shunichi Suzuki, World Rowing President Jean-Christophe Rolland and Japan Canoe Federation Honorary Chairman Yasuo Fukuda.
This is truly an Olympic-standard regatta venue.
“Today we see the efforts of years of hard work come to fruition with the official opening of the Sea Forest Waterway rowing course. This is truly an Olympic-standard regatta venue and I know it will help make for a fabulous rowing regatta at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games,” Rolland said.
“It is also designed with sustainability in mind, with the Sea Forest Waterway being an asset to local, national and international rowing for years to come. On behalf of FISA, I would like to thank you and express my gratitude to all the contributors, and specifically to TMG and Governor Koike who have made this fantastic project a reality.”
Special races with Olympians
To celebrate the opening, the Japan Rowing Association organised special races in which Japanese Olympians, the world-famous Oxford and Cambridge alumni boat teams, well-known Japanese university rowing teams and para athletes took part.
The legacy of this new permanent venue has already been planned. Following the Tokyo 2020 Games, the course will be used for international rowing and canoe competitions, while becoming one of the premier locations in Asia for water sports. The aim is to host multiple events every year, starting with the 2019 World Rowing Junior Championships in August, which will also serve as a test event.
General public access
The Sea Forest Waterway will also be open to the general public. Rowing classes, canoe classes and other activities will be organised, and it will become a place where Tokyo residents can enjoy water sports and leisure activities.
The opening of yet another venue marks a great achievement and shows the readiness of the Tokyo 2020 Organising Committee for the first wave of test events this summer and for hosting the Olympic Games in just 400 days.
Events to be held at the Sea Forest Waterway
Sea Forest Waterway will showcase some of the most exciting Olympic and Paralympic sports events during Tokyo 2020.