Choue promises excitement at Tokyo 2020 thanks to taekwondo's 4D cameras

World Taekwondo President Chungwon Choue believes that 4D cameras being introduced for Tokyo 2020 will bring added excitement to the sport.

The technological innovation will make its debut on the biggest stage at next year's Olympic Games in the Japanese capital.

Fans and judges will be able to enjoy 360 degree replays of the athletes' moves thanks to the 4D camera rig.

This, it is hoped, will provide more memorable moments for supporters while also eliminating controversial moments from the judging.

"The system will excite many people, just like it excited me two years ago when we tested it for the first time," said Choue to the Korea Times.

The system will debut on the big stage at Tokyo 2020 ©World Taekwondo
The system will debut on the big stage at Tokyo 2020 ©World Taekwondo

"I'm sure of its success at Tokyo.

"Not only that, it will also make World Taekwondo's scoring system even fairer by eliminating blind spots."

The camera system was first used at the World Taekwondo Grand Slam Champions Series in Chinese city Wuxi last year.

World Taekwondo is continuing its work to enhance the technology and may test it again before Tokyo 2020.

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Talks continue on possible joint Korean hockey team at Tokyo 2020 despite missed deadline

Talks are reportedly continuing about North and South Korea forming a unified women's hockey team at Tokyo 2020, despite the advanced stage of the qualification process.

The neighbours previously agreed to join forces in the sport for next year's Olympic Games, as well as in women's basketball, judo and rowing.

But no progress has been made in hockey, and South Korea competed alone at the International Hockey Federation (FIH) Series Finals tournament in Ireland in June, part of the Tokyo 2020 qualification pathway.

They came through successfully and now face a two-leg clash with Spain in Valencia next month, where the winners will reach the Games.

Kyodo News reported that an FIH deadline of yesterday to apply for a joint team had been missed, with sources claiming this marked the end of the road.

Should South Korea qualify, however, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) could then approve a unified squad.

Talks are reportedly ongoing between the IOC and the National Olympic Committees in both North and South Korea.

FIH chief executive Thierry Weil said to Kyodo News that if South Korea qualifies, the final decision on the joint team would be down to the IOC.

However, South Korea have reportedly heard nothing from North Korea when trying to organise combined training sessions.

The IOC is keen to encourage joint sports teams on the Korean peninsula as a way of promoting peace between the two nations, who technically remain at war.

North Korea competed at the Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Olympics in the South after the country's leader Kim Jong-un announced that the secretive state would take part.

Korea formed a unified women's ice hockey team at Pyeongchang 2018 ©Getty Images
Korea formed a unified women's ice hockey team at Pyeongchang 2018 ©Getty Images

Both Koreas marched together under a unified flag at the Opening Ceremony and also fielded a joint women's ice hockey team.

There are now tentative plans for a joint-Korean bid for the 2032 Summer Olympics, a prospect IOC President Thomas Bach told insidethegames he "welcomes very much".

North Korean participation dominated the build-up to Pyeongchang 2018 following security concerns over missile tests and nuclear threats in the North.

Bach later admitted that the Games came close to being cancelled over safety fears, with Kim exchanging fierce rhetoric with United States President Donald Trump.

Further initiatives in Pyeongchang saw a squad of cheerleaders from the North deployed and, arguably most significantly of all, a high-level North Korean delegation travelled which included Kim Yo-jong – the sister of the leader. 

In March 2018, Bach met with Jong-un in Pyongyang and discussions began on North Korean participation at the Tokyo 2020 and Beijing 2022 Games.

Unified Korean teams were then selected for last year's Asian Games in Jakarta and Palembang, in dragon boat racing, lightweight rowing and women's basketball.

The unified Korean dragon boat team made history as they claimed gold in the women's 500 metres race. 

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Anish Bhanwala, Adarsh Singh and Anhad Jawanda Miss Out on Finals in Shooting World Cup

Rio de Janeiro: India missed out on an Olympic quota in the men's 25m rapid fire pistol after the young trio of Anish Bhanwala, Adarsh Singh and Anhad Jawanda failed to enter the finals in the World Cup here.

Anish shot a rapid fire round of 286 to go with his precision round of 291 for a total of 577, landing him an 18th-place finish. Adarsh and Ahnad shot 576 and 573 to end at the 25th and 30th spot, respectively.

Among the six finalists there were two Germans and two Chinese, both of which nations had exhausted their quota of two berths in earlier competitions.

Cuban Pupo Leuris had also secured his Tokyo quota earlier, which enabled Pakistan's Muhammad Khalil Akhtar, who shot 586 for a fifth-spot finish, to claim one of the two available quotas. The second was won by Korean Kim Junhong who finished seventh with a score of 585.

India are the table toppers of the tournament with three gold, three silver and one bronze medal.

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Canada earns Olympic berth in artistic swimming with duet gold in Lima

Jacqueline Simoneau and Claudia Holzner won the gold medal in the duet artistic swimming competition Wednesday at the Pan American Games, and earned Canada a spot at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics in the process.

Simoneau, of Chambly, Que., and Holzner, of Calgary, finished first with a total score of 180.0343 points. Mexico was second with 174.3661 points, and the United States third with 170.6698 points.

Simoneau and Holzner returned to the pool later Wednesday as part of Canada’s nine-swimmer squad in team competition, with another Olympic berth on the line.

Canada swept the two events at the 2015 Toronto Pan Am Games, with Simoneau and Karine Thomas earning duet gold and Holzner joining for the team event.

The sport was renamed from synchronized swimming to artistic swimming in 2017.

Later Wednesday, gymnast Ellie Black of Halifax looked to add to her record Pan Am medal haul. Black, Canada’s most decorated Pan Am gymnast with nine medals, will compete in the beam and floor competitions at the Villa El Salvador Sports Center.

EQUESTRIAN

Tina Irwin of Stouffville, Ont., riding Laurencio, took silver in individual dressage with a score of 77.780. Sarah Lockman of the U.S. won gold with 78.980. Irwin was part of Canada’s squad that won gold in the team dressage event on Monday and earned a berth at the 2020 Games.

“I was thrilled with the team gold but now to be on the podium individually is fantastic,” Irwin said. “It was definitely my goal, I was coming to win a medal. I was hoping for, gold but that’s okay. My horse was amazing, the whole competition.”

BADMINTON

Michelle Li of Markham, Ont., advanced to the women’s semifinals with a 2-0 (21-9, 26-24) win over Mexico’s Haramara Gaitan. Toronto’s Brian Yang of defeated Osleni Gurrero of Cuba 2-1 (21-10, 15-21, 21-13) to advance to the men’s semifinals.

Toronto’s Rachel Honderich and Kristen Tsai of Surrey, B.C., won their women’s doubles quarterfinal 2-0 (21-3, 21-3) over a team from Peru. Tsai then teamed with Nyl Yakura of Pickering, Ont., for a 2-0 (21-10, 21-14) win over a Cuban tandem on a mixed doubles quarterfinal.

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Record 21 Paralympic disciplines to be broadcast at Tokyo 2020

The International Paralympic Committee (IPC) has announced that a record 21 disciplines from 19 sports are set to be broadcast live from the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games.

The 21 disciplines will be broadcast alongside the Opening and Closing Ceremonies.

Archery, canoeing, equestrian, rowing and shooting will have live coverage from the Paralympics for the first time.

These have been announced in addition to 16 disciplines that were already due to be broadcast, including badminton, boccia, road cycling, goalball, triathlon and the athletics marathon, all of which are either making their Paralympic debut or were not included at Rio 2016.

Rounding off the list of disciplines set to be broadcast is athletics, track cycling, football five-a-side, judo, sitting volleyball, swimming, table tennis, wheelchair basketball, wheelchair rugby and wheelchair tennis.

Twelve disciplines from 12 sports had live coverage at the Rio 2016 Paralympics.

Para-rowing is one of the 19 sports set to be broadcast at the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games ©IPC
Para-rowing is one of the 19 sports set to be broadcast at the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games ©IPC

"Thanks to the growing interest and investment from broadcasters around the world to screen the Paralympic Games we have been able to significantly increase the number of sports to be broadcast live for Tokyo 2020," said Alexis Schaefer, the IPC's commercial, broadcasting and partnerships director.

"Our strategy throughout has been to invest all additional revenues generated from TV rights sales back in to the broadcasting plan for Tokyo 2020. 

"This is allowing us to broadcast live nine disciplines and seven sports more compared to Rio 2016, a huge leap forward which will benefit broadcasters and the whole Paralympic Movement.

"Without doubt Tokyo 2020 will have the best, most complete and in-depth TV coverage yet for a Paralympic Games.

"In addition to more live TV coverage, we are also investing into delivering far greater short form content for broadcasters to use in the form of highlights, athletes features and profiles. 

"With such comprehensive coverage in place we are very confident that viewing figures will exceed the record cumulative audience of 4.1 billion people that enjoyed the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games."

The Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games will take place from August 26 to September 6, with 22 sports set to be contested in total.

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Tokyo 2020 publishes overview of heat countermeasures and launches cooling project

Tokyo 2020 has published an overview of countermeasures being taken to minimise the risk of heat on athletes and spectators at next year’s Olympic and Paralympic Games.

Concerns over heat rose last year after Japan suffered a record heatwave with temperature reaching 41.1 degrees Celsius, raising concerns that similar conditions in 2020 could disrupt the Games.

At least 96 people died of heatstroke across Tokyo's 23 wards last July.

The Olympics in the Japanese capital are due to take place from July 24 to August 6.

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) and Tokyo 2020 have made countermeasures a priority area, with working groups having been established to assess solutions.

A 38-page guide has now been published by Tokyo 2020 which outlines steps they are taking to mitigate the risks posed by potentially high temperatures.

Tokyo 2020 says the aim of these measures is to prepare an environment in and around venues that will allow everyone to remain as cool and hydrated as possible.

The Organising Committee said it has reviewed a wide range of likely scenarios and circumstances to develop their countermeasures.

This includes overseas visitors’ journeys from airports to their hotels, their movements between hotels and venues, and the exposure to heat of those at outdoor venues.

Tokyo 2020 added it would provide a wide range of support to athletes, spectators and staff, with support from local authorities, national government and partner companies.

Among the measures being considered is allowing spectators to bring their own bottled water into venues under certain conditions, which had previously been prevented at past editions of the Olympic Games due to security and sponsorship.

Tokyo 2020 is considering a range of heat countermeasures ©Tokyo 2020
Tokyo 2020 is considering a range of heat countermeasures ©Tokyo 2020

This will include cooperation with the Japan National Tourism Organisation and the Ministry of the Environment, who will help Tokyo 2020 to provide weather forecasts, alerts and information on ways to mitigate heat and treat any resulting symptoms via its official website.

A mobile application which provides relevant up-to-date information and sends alerts directly to users’ devices in multiple languages will be produced.

Information will also be available via printed materials and will be communicated by staff members at venues.

A Tokyo 2020 cooling project has also been launched, with the aim to promote heat countermeasures led by Tokyo 2020 with the support of 13 sponsors.

This will include providing cool spaces and items, which can be sampled to mitigate heat.

Some of the countermeasures will be tested this summer at test events for next year’s Games, with Tokyo 2020 collaborating with the Japanese Government and national and international federations.

A focus will be placed on the test events taking place outside, with beach volleyball, rowing, triathlon, hockey and the marathon test events set to be subject to the trials.

The marathon start times had been the subject of debate, with the IOC and Tokyo 2020 revealing in December that recommendations had been made to help combat potentially high temperatures.

Concerns were particularly raised with regard to marathons, with both the Japan Medical Association and the Tokyo Medical Association calling for start times to be moved to 5.30am.

They argued the decision from the IOC and Tokyo 2020 organisers to move the starts time up 30 minutes to 7am was insufficient and could prove a health risk to spectators and athletes.

Both the men’s and women’s marathons are scheduled to begin at 6am local time.

Rugby sevens matches will halt at noon to avoid the hottest time of the day, while mountain bike events have a 3pm start time.

Both events were the subject of concerns over heat.

Tokyo 2020 chief executive Toshirō Mutō told the IOC Session earlier this week that they would assess the success of the countermeasures following test events over the summer.

Further revisions could then be made by organisers to their existing plans.

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IOC taskforce to oversee organisation of boxing at Tokyo 2020 after AIBA suspended

The International Boxing Association (AIBA) has been suspended as the Olympic governing body for the sport and will not play any role in organising the tournament at Tokyo 2020, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) announced today.

The IOC has set up a taskforce to oversee the delivery of an Olympic boxing competition at next year's Games in the Japanese capital.

The group, to be chaired by International Gymnastics Federation President Morinari Watanabe, will also be tasked with organising the qualification system.

Qualifying events will take place between January and May of next year.

Exact weight categories for the men's and women's events have not yet been confirmed, however, meaning the uncertainty for boxers hoping to compete at the Games continues.

The IOC has set a deadline of the end of next month for this to be put in place, while a review of quota places will also be carried out.

The decision, taken by the Executive Board following a six-month inquiry into AIBA, is subject to final approval at next month's Session here from June 24 to 26.

The Olympic boxing event at Tokyo 2020 will be "organised following guidelines established by the Executive Board" but who will be in charge of running it remains unclear.

In its full decision, the IOC Executive Board said the current situation of AIBA "is such that its practices and activities continue to fall short of full conformity and compliance with the Olympic Charter and the IOC Code of Ethics".

The IOC claim this "presents serious legal, financial and reputational risks to the IOC and the Olympic Movement".

AIBA has been given hope that it can regain its recognition after Tokyo 2020, with its progress due to be assessed by a monitoring committee consisting of the members who led the initial inquiry.

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Coates confident Tokyo 2020 can solve issues raised by International Federations during vital test event period

John Coates has expressed confidence in the ability of Tokyo 2020 to address issues raised by International Federations during the vital test event period as the International Olympic Committee (IOC) Coordination Commission began a three-day visit here today. 

The Australian, chair of the IOC Coordination Commission, offered an upbeat assessment of preparations for next year’s Olympic and Paralympic Games.

He acknowledged that several International Federations had raised concerns at SportAccord Summit in Gold Coast earlier this month.

These include over plans for sport presentation at the Games, as well as accommodation and athlete provisions at venues.

World Sailing had also highlighted operational readiness for test competitions, with their chief executive Andy Hunt questioning the outsourcing of event delivery to third parties and the accountability lines between the agencies and Tokyo 2020.

Coates, speaking on the opening day of the visit, expressed his view that the test events would be key to ensuring Tokyo 2020 addressed concerns and received confidence of stakeholders.

"There were some issues identified at SportAccord on the Gold Coast by some of the Federations," he said.

"We think you have been working them through.

"We are confident you will be able to address them.

"These will be the subject of further discussion here.

"This period where we are moving into the test events is vital for all stakeholders, but particularly vital for the delivery of the sport events.

"We will be paying a lot of attention to the integration, under the delivery models that we have, of the expertise of international federations that we have available.

"We want to make sure those you have contracted to do some of the delivery are up to it and that you have the confidence to renew them going forward."

IOC executive director for the Olympic Games Christophe Dubi hailed Tokyo 2020's planning but that an ability to act quickly and effectively will be required at the Games ©Getty Images
IOC executive director for the Olympic Games Christophe Dubi hailed Tokyo 2020's planning but that an ability to act quickly and effectively will be required at the Games ©Getty Images

Tokyo 2020 are set to deliver 33 competitions by the conclusion of the year as part of their "Ready Steady Tokyo" series of test events.

The first test events are scheduled to begin next month.

Coates admitted the events will be "very important" for sports making their debut on the Olympic programme at Tokyo 2020, such as sporting climbing, surfing and skateboarding.

The Australian added that this was partly due to several of the new events having been provisionally included for Paris 2024.

Christophe Dubi, the IOC's executive director of the Olympic Games, stuck a similar tone to Coates as he provided a short presentation on "operational readiness".

Dubi claimed the IOC have never seen a level of planning achieved by Tokyo 2020, but warned these would not be delivered exactly as organisers envisage at the Games.

He called for Tokyo 2020 to build confidence in their teams for the delivery to ensure organisers can resolve issues quickly and effectively during the Games.

"Sometimes we will have had contingency plans and alternative arrangements, but sometimes we will have to find the solution on the spot," he said.

"You will have to build the competence and confidence of your team.

"Sport managers and transport managers will have to make alternations on the ground.

 "We have to clarify all the details, these need to be shared with members of the Olympic family, such as International Federations and National Olympic Committees.

"This is how you get input and sometimes the modifications from people who have done it before.

"We will have to build one team and that is bigger than the Organising Committee.

"During the test events we may have problems, that is not an issue.

"A problem in a test event is a good thing, but we have to learn from them to resolve them for the future."

The Tokyo Aquatic Centre was one of three venues visited by the IOC Coordination Commission ©Getty Images
The Tokyo Aquatic Centre was one of three venues visited by the IOC Coordination Commission ©Getty Images

The IOC Coordination Commission visit began with a three venue tour, with officials beginning the trip at the Tokyo Aquatic Centre being constructed by the Tokyo Metropolitan Government.

Officials praised the progress at the venue and at the Kasai Canoe Slalom Centre, which was claimed to be nearing completion prior to the October test event.

The IOC Coordination Commission also visited the permanent part of the Yumenoshima Park Archery Field, which has been completed.

A temporary installation at the venue is due to be installed prior to the Olympics.

Coates also acknowledged the high demand for tickets in Japan, with 4.8 million people having registered for the ticket lottery.

The Australian asserted that further cost savings could be made to infrastructure and operational budgets, while adding the IOC were looking forward to their upcoming one-year to go celebrations.

These are expected to be attended by IOC President Thomas Bach, with Japan's Prime Minister Shinzō Abe may also be present.

Initially, it had been feared that Bach would skip the event for fear of being photographed with Tsunekazu Takeda, who had led the successful Tokyo 2020 bid but is now embroiled in allegations of corruption.

He has since announced plans tor resign as President of the Japanese Olympic Committee. 

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