Sports

Tokyo unveils new, cool Olympic Stadium with heat-busting features

Tokyo formally unveiled its 60,000-seater main Olympic Stadium yesterday, more than seven months before the Tokyo 2020 opening ceremony - with a host of special features to beat the heat.

Built on the site of the former national stadium used for the 1964 Tokyo Olympics, it has five floors above ground and two below, with greenery planted on the decks to provide shade from the scorching summer sun.

The eaves around the outer perimeter keep out sunlight and rain and will help channel breeze into the stadium. There are also eight mist-spraying facilities, 185 fans and 16 air-conditioned lounges.

Opening the facility, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe hailed its "top-level universal design" and "harmony with its surrounding environment".

The stadium, built at a cost of 156.9 billion yen (S$1.94 billion), will host the opening and closing ceremonies on July 24 and Aug 9 respectively, plus football and athletics events.

However, the marathon will not have its traditional finish there, as the event has been moved to Hokkaido to avoid the expected heat and humidity of the capital.

The stadium will see its first sporting action on Saturday, when former sprint champion Usain Bolt will take the track for an exhibition relay. - AFP

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