The Tokyo Aquatics Centre has been officially opened with a ceremony showcasing sport and inviting residents of the neighbourhood to discover the new facility.
The Tokyo Aquatics Centre will see stellar performances from Olympic athletes during the Games as it plays host to the swimming, diving, and artistic swimming competitions.
The Swimming competition will kick off the Olympic Games in the first week, while Artistic Swimming’s duets and teams will vie for medals during the second week. The Diving competition will spread across the fortnight.
The Tokyo Aquatics Centre includes a 10-lane main pool, a sub pool and a diving pool and will have a seating capacity of 15,000 at Games-time. With the Tokyo 2020 Games postponed to July 2021, the Tokyo Metropolitan Government has decided to open the facility for private use as well as to sports federations for competition and practice use from 25 October 2020: a glimpse of the Games’ rich legacy even before they take place.
Above: Synchronized swimmers test out the facilities at the Tokyo Aquatics Centre
However, the venue itself could steal the show with its impressive architecture and innovative engineering. The construction started with the roof, which was built on the floor; this unconventional method shortened the construction period of the whole venue since it saves labour of elevating both workers and equipment. Once completed, the 7,000-ton and 10-metre-thick roof was then hoisted to 37 metres in three steps and supported by four core pillars. In its final position, it provided safety and improved work efficiency of the construction workers, who work under the roof.
The Tokyo Aquatics Centre was constructed by the Tokyo Metropolitan Government (TMG) and was completed in February 2020.