Rowing federation against Tokyo 2020 venue change
BERLIN (Reuters) - The proposed rowing venue for the 2020 Tokyo Games should not be changed as part of cost-cutting measures as it is the only one that meets Olympic standards, the International Rowing Federation (FISA) said on Thursday.
The International Olympic Committee (IOC) and Games organisers have agreed to set up a review process to reduce ballooning costs and part of that operation will mean changing venues from those in the original bid plan.
The rowing federation, however, said plans to move the competition from the capital could not work.
"FISA remains of the view that the Sea Forest Water Sports Centre is the only venue in Japan which can meet the requirements for an Olympic Games regatta," it said in a statement.
"FISA therefore looks forward to continuing to find financial savings and operational efficiencies for Sea Forest."
The IOC said on Tuesday it felt costs for the Games looked "very high" and would work with organisers to cut them.
The comments came at a meeting between Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike and IOC President Thomas Bach, who proposed forming a working group to find ways to bring costs that could be as much as $30 billion -- four times the initial estimate -- down.
One of the proposed venue changes would mean moving rowing and canoe/kayak sprint events away from the capital, with several options on the table, including Naganuma Lake some 400km north of Tokyo.
According to Japanese media, the IOC would even consider hosting the events in the South Korean city of Chungju, where rowing events were held for the 2014 Asian Games.
"FISA has not been involved in any discussions that might consider other venues outside of Japan," the federation said.
(Reporting by Karolos Grohmann; Editing by John O'Brien)