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Tokyo Olympics 2020 - one year to go but are they ready?
Last Updated: 26/07/19 8:36pm
With a year to go before the 2020 Olympics, the chief of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) says Tokyo are better prepared than any other previous host city, but what is really happening in Japan's capital?
Excitement is building in Japan, with around 3.22 million tickets already sold and over 200,000 people applying to be volunteers.
IOC President Thomas Bach's comments come as he attended a special ceremony to mark one year until the opening ceremony in the almost-completed national stadium.
Only three Olympic venues in total need to be finished, but as Sky Sports News reporter Geraint Hughes discovers, there are other issues still to address...
All eyes on Tokyo
Japan, let alone Tokyo has a very busy 12 months ahead of it. As today marked one year until the Tokyo Olympics are officially opened, another countdown nears its conclusion as the Rugby World Cup kicks off in late September.
It was, however, the Olympics that took centre stage as the great and powerful from the IOC, Tokyo 2020, and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe came to town - or to be more accurate the Tokyo Metropolitan Area, with its 35 million-strong population.
IOC President Thomas Bach had flown in especially to Tokyo to be present for the celebrations, and while it was expected he would not say anything too controversial, he did say he had never witnessed a city so ready to host an Olympic Games one year out.
Ouch! In terms of comparing with Rio it is probably fair enough, but both London and Beijing might have a thing or two to say about readiness and preparations.
They could also point out, but I will instead, that it is not all perfect here in Tokyo. They are ready in terms of venues and infrastructure certainly, but the IOC has come under increasing pressure in recent years to make the cost of hosting an Olympics more manageable given the huge amounts some cities have splashed out on hosting an Olympics.
Tokyo's original budget when they won the right to host the Games was approximately £6bn, that figure has doubled according to numerous sources. It may even rise further before the Olympic flame is lit.
Heat and humidity is also a worry. Late July and August normally sees high temperatures accompanied by energy-sapping humidity - just look at how Chelsea and Barcelona struggled with the humidity on their pre-season tours.
At kick-off, normally 7pm or 7.30pm local time, the humidity has been in the mid to high 80 per cent region while the evening Chelsea played J-League champions Kawasaki Frontale the humidity was 91 per cent.
I was there and can vouch for that figure. It was not pleasant and I was not running around. Nor am I an elite athlete - well, not anymore.
The whole point of the Olympics, 'Citius, Altius, Fortius - or 'Faster, higher, stronger,' is that an athlete can perform at their very best.
Tokyo, given its climate in July and August, still has work to do to protect not only the athletes, but spectators as well.
Some events will start at times that will not suit athletes, the most extreme probably the marathon which will begin at 6am, following warnings from medics that runners could die from heatstroke in the Tokyo mid-morning temperatures.
The Games will have a very different feel from Rio 2016. That was Brazil, it had many problems, but it flowed along in the way Brazilians do best, shrug shoulders, smile, have a drink, dance and enjoy yourselves.
Japan will not be like that. Its culture is so far removed. Organisation and preparation is paramount, but just judging by today's ceremonies and events it could at times appear to visitors - people not necessarily attuned to Japanese culture and etiquette - that Tokyo 2020 could be over-organised.
Tokyo 2020 organisers though do have a global sporting event in their country to learn lessons from ahead of next year. The Rugby World Cup begins in September with thousands of visitors from around the world coming to watch the sport's showpiece event.