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Tokyo 2020 unveils 15,000-seat Olympic aquatics centre

Tokyo’s Olympic Aquatics Centre seats 15,000 fans © AFP / Kazuhiro NOGI

TOKYO, Japan, Nov 21 – Tokyo 2020 organisers on Thursday unveiled the Sh 52.9bn ($523 million) venue for swimming, diving and artistic swimming that will seat 15,000 fans for the Olympic and Paralympic Games next year.

Construction is 90 percent complete at the four-storey Aquatics Centre and is due to be finished on schedule by the end of February, officials said.

“We are aiming to construct a swimming venue to the world’s highest standards equipped with the latest facilities,” Tokyo 2020 venue official Daishuu Tone told reporters.

The main pool features a movable wall allowing the 50m facility to be converted into two 25m pools. The depth of the bottom can also be adjusted.

The building cost 56.7 billion yen but Tokyo hopes to make the most of the facility after the 2020 Games, aiming to attract one million users a year — 850,000 through swimming competitions and another 150,000 casual users.

Organisers also unveiled the Ariake Arena on Thursday, a 37-billion-yen site for Olympic volleyball and wheelchair basketball.

Construction on the main venue, the 159 billion yen National Stadium, has been completed and will be unveiled in a gala opening on December 21.

Musicians and star athletes will join the event, with world-record sprinter Usain Bolt featuring in an exhibition relay.

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