Tokyo marks one year till 2020 Olympics

  • Wednesday 24, July 2019 12:16 PM
  • Tokyo marks one year till 2020 Olympics
Sharjah 24 – AFP: Tokyo promised a high-tech Olympics complete with robots as it marked a year to go until the 2020 Games, on Wednesday, hoping to leave behind some bumps in the road.
Organisers have battled everything from fears over deadly heat to persistent questions about the cost of the Games and how Tokyo won its bid.

But as the one-year countdown began, they touted speedy progress on venue construction and pledged a historic Games.

"I can truly say I have never seen an Olympic city as prepared as Tokyo, with one year to go before the Olympic games," said International Olympic Committee chief Thomas Bach at a ceremony Wednesday.

"All the elements that make a truly outstanding Olympic Games are in place," he added, predicting "an amazing experience" for athletes.

Officials pointed to "unprecedented" ticket sales and applications by 200,000 people for just 80,000 volunteer positions as evidence of building excitement for the Games.

"The six years since Tokyo was picked have zipped by, but I'm glad that preparations have gone very smoothly," Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said, before the symbolic handing-out of invitations to national Olympic committees.

Tokyo 2020 President Yoshiro Mori said Bach praised the speed of the city's preparations as "an Olympic record".