By Jack Tarrant
TOKYO (Reuters) – Japanese and Canadian swimmers visited the Olympic Aquatics Centre in Tokyo on Tuesday, two years out from the start of the 2020 Summer Games.
The Aquatics Centre, due for completion in February, 2020, will host swimming and diving events at the Tokyo Olympics.
The state of the art venue is spread over 65,000 square metres and will be able to hold 15,000 fans at capacity during the Games.
Kosuke Hagino, Japan’s four-times Olympic swimming medallist, was among those taking selfies and inspecting construction plans for the venue.
“Every time I pass here, I see that the building is growing but this is my first time looking at it this close and I am wondering how it is going to be when we get to the Olympics,” said Hagino, who won gold in the 400 metres individual medley at the 2016 Rio Olympics.
Many of the world’s top athletes are in Tokyo for the Pan Pacific swimming championships starting on Thursday.
The event will take place at the nearby Tatsumi International Swimming Centre, which will host the water polo competition at the Olympics.
Canadian Kylie Masse was one of those taking advantage of the chance to see the Olympic site.
“It is truly an honour to be here so thank you for allowing me to see this site and I am really looking forward to racing here (in Tokyo) this week and then hopefully in two years as well,” said Masse, who took bronze in the 100 metres backstroke in Rio.
“We just came off a two week training camp and in Wakayama and it is my first time in Japan; you have a beautiful country and lots of friendly people.”
The 2020 Tokyo Olympics are due to run from July 24 to Aug. 9. The schedule for swimming and diving events has not been finalised.
(Reporting by Jack Tarrant, editing by Ed Osmond)