Olympic officials confident tropical storm will have limited effect on Games
Tokyo — Olympic officials said Monday they were confident Tropical Storm Nepartak’s effect on the Tokyo Games would be milder than originally feared.
The front is expected to make landfall early Wednesday in Honshu, about 220 miles north of Tokyo island, packing heavy rains and winds up to 78 mph. The Japan Meteorological Agency has warned of the potential for landslides and flooding.
But Tokyo, where the bulk of the Olympic events are being contested, is expected to escape the brunt of the storm.
Tokyo 2020 spokesperson Masa Takaya told the BBC that people “shouldn’t be too worried” about the storm but urged them to “maintain precautions” in case Nepartak’s track were to change.
But even if the storm misses Tokyo, rain is in the forecast for Tuesday, with thunderstorms expected to hit Friday and continue through the rest of the Games.
Some events scheduled for Tuesday, including rowing and archery, have already been postponed while a women’s soccer match between Japan and Chile, to be played Tuesday in Miyagi prefecture, closer to the storm’s projected path, also could be affected.
Other events, such as the softball final between the U.S. and Japan, mountain biking and equestrian medal events, and the women’s triathlon are going forward as scheduled.
Winds and choppy surf stirred up by the approaching weather front were felt in surfing and sailing Monday.
“It was difficult today because there was an offshore wind, and it was very easy to make a mistake, and the race could change very quickly,” windsurfer Charline Picon of France said after three races in the women’s RS:X sailing event at Enoshima Yacht Harbor. “Today was more difficult than yesterday for sure. The wind was more intense than we expected.”
The decision to postpone individual events is made by the local Olympic organizing committee in concert with the global federation managing each particular sport.
A USOPC spokesperson said it also was monitoring the storm for its potential effect on competitions and training for U.S. athletes.