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JAAF Changes Rules to Make it Possible to Hold World Championships at Olympic Stadium Without Warmup Track

It has been learned that the JAAF, which hopes to host the 2025 World Championships in Tokyo, has changed its rules regarding competition facilities in order to make it possible to hold international competitions like the World Championships at the National Stadium, the main stadium for last year’s Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games.

Under JAAF rules up to now, the National Stadium could not be recognized as a Class 1 Certified Athletics Facility eligible to host international competitions due to its lack of a warm-up track. Despite World Athletics head Sebastian Coe having said publicly that he had received assurances from Japanese officials that the warm-up track built for the Olympics and Paralympics would remain after the Games, within just a few weeks of the end of the Paralympics it was destroyed.

The new rule change states, “Facilities that have been used to host the Olympic Games can be recognized as a Class 1 Certified Athletics Facility even without a warm-up track.”

Translator’s note: The World Athletics Track and Field Facilities Manual 2019 Edition specifies that a 400 m warm-up track with a minimum of 4 lanes and 6 in the straight is required in order to host a World Championships. However, it also states that the warm-up track should be located “Preferably, within the same sports complex, adjacent to the competition facility, however, there is no maximum limit in distance set. If a facility is being considered for a major international event, the location and standard of the warm-up facilities will be assessed by the relevant governing body.”

It also states, “For specific competitions, the Technical Regulations shall determine the specific requirements for the competition including training and warm-up facilities. In agreement with the appropriate athletics authority, the organizers of a competition may make exceptions to the respective Construction Category.”

Apart from the facilities in the stadium itself, there is a 200 m track across the street from the National Stadium, and Oda Field, an 8-lane 400 m track currently undergoing extensive renovations for the second time in the last few years, is located 2 km from the National Stadium with easy major road access. As such, if Coe and WA intend to give Tokyo the 2025 World Championships then it looks possible to make it happen without having to rebuild the warm-up track, despite the benefits a permanent warm-up track would bring and the demand for public-access track facilities in central Tokyo.

source article:

translated and edited by Brett Larner

photo © 2021 Brett Larner, all rights reserved

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