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Metro Tokyo raises curtain on Olympic venue construction progress

The Kasai Canoe Slalom Centre for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics is seen under construction in Tokyo's Edogawa Ward on Feb. 12, 2019. (Mainichi/Yuki Miyatake)

TOKYO -- With just a year and a half before the torch is lit for Tokyo 2020, on Feb. 12 the Tokyo Metropolitan Government pulled the curtain back on progress at one Olympic and Paralympic venue now under construction.

The Kasai Canoe Slalom Centre in the capital's Edogawa Ward is around 70 percent finished, and officials showed members of the media the full-length artificial water course -- the first of its kind in Japan. Located next to metro Tokyo's Kasai Rinkai Park, the waterway is about 200 meters long with a 4.5-meter height difference between its highest and lowest points.

In addition to a straight course for the games, a winding waterway for warming up has also come into being. Construction of the course is scheduled to be completed in May this year, followed by facilities including an administration building in December. After the games, the facility will be opened to the public to enjoy rafting and other activities.

Excepting the Kasai Canoe Slalom Centre, the Tokyo government is building six new permanent facilities -- The Sea Forest Waterway for canoe sprint and rowing in the Tokyo Bay area; the Ariake Arena for volleyball in Koto Ward; the Tokyo Aquatics Centre in the same ward, and other facilities. The Olympic Village in Chuo Ward, where athletes will stay during the games, is also under construction, by 11 different firms.

All construction work is proceeding well and is expected to be completed by March 2020, according to the metro government.

(Japanese original by Kentaro Mori, City News Department)

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