Tokyo, Nov 21 : The construction of the Aquatics Center, the main venue for the swimming competitions of the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, and the Ariake Arena, which will host volleyball and wheelchair basketball events, is progressing smoothly towards completion.
The outside area, the aisles and the installation of the seats, which is almost 60 per cent complete, are the main tasks pending in the facilities that will host swimming, diving, synchronized swimming events, according to journalists touring the facilities on Thursday, reports Xinhua news agency.
The Aquatics Center, located on one of the artificial islands in Tokyo Bay, is 90 per cent complete and has a main 50 meter (164 feet) long pool with 10 lanes, which is practically ready and was filled for the occasion.
Next to it is another smaller pool for diving events with platforms at five heights (1; 3; 5; 7.5 and 10 meters), distributed in a structure reminiscent of a spiral staircase but with square cuts.
The center has a capacity for 15,000 spectators and has been built in compliance with government regulations that dictate that 1 percent of seats be wheelchair accessible, the main official of the complex, Daishu Tone said.
The Tokyo government, which owns the center, plans to make the facilities freely accessible to the city’s residents after the Olympic event and host some 100 national and international swimming competitions each year. Through these, it hopes to attract around one million users annually.
However, before opening the pools to public, reforms will be undertaken to reduce the number of seats from 15,000 to 5,000 with the aim of making management more efficient and to reduce costs, according to Tone, who gave no specific starting date for the modifications.
In addition to the Aquatics Center, the exterior and interior of the Ariake Arena, whose construction is 98 per cent complete and expected to finish later this year, was also made accessible for media.
The rear part of the complex, where there is an auxiliary building whose facade is partially covered by plants, is the area where the maximum work remains.
Bulldozers continued to clear land on Thursday while masons worked on the stairs of what, after the Olympics, will be a venue for concerts and other events.
The only thing lacking is some of its 15,000 seats (including 3,000 temporary ones) and for the concrete floor to be covered with the appropriate materials for the Olympic events.
The Ariake Arena, along with the Olympic Stadium that was completed last week, is made mostly of wood, adding Japanese aesthetics to the structure.