The 10km Tokyo Bay Walking event, organized by the Tokyo Metropolitan Government, previewed several proposed venues in Tokyo’s bid for the 2016 Summer Olympic Games, 97 per cent of which will be located within an 8 km radius. Around 1,000 athletes, participants, and “enthusiastic” spectators took part in the event, said a Tokyo 2016 press release.
Olympian Akemi Masuda, who represented Japan in the women’s marathon at the 1984 Olympics in Los Angeles said, “it was a real pleasure to take part in the walk alongside the other participants and tell them about the Tokyo 2016 venues. Walking the course really heightens awareness of the compactness of Tokyo 2016’s bid plan. The venues are so close together. Tokyo 2016 will be very convenient, not only for athletes, but also for spectators and visitors”.
More than a dozen companies in several capacities supported the event.
Participants walked through Shiokaze Park, which would host beach volleyball; Odaiba Marine Park, venue for the triathlon and aquatic events (marathon swimming), and Paralympic cycling; and Tokyo Big Sight, which would stage Olympic wrestling, fencing and taekwondo in addition to Paralympic power lifting, boccia and wheelchair fencing. Ariake Tennis Park was also visited before the participants crossed the finishing line at the proposed Tokyo 2016 Olympic Stadium site.
Dr. Ichiro Kono, Chair and CEO of Tokyo 2016 said, “it is great to see Japan’s passion for sport and Tokyo 2016 once again demonstrated through a major public event. Walking has showcased our ultra-compact, athlete and visitor-friendly venues plan which marks a first for the entire Olympic Movement. Our inspiring, sustainable and financially-guaranteed Games plan will truly allow us to set the stage for heroes through Tokyo 2016”.