Tokyo 2020 expected to maintain original Torch Relay schedule

Tokyo 2020 expected to maintain original Torch Relay schedule


Tokyo 2020 is expected to maintain the original plan for the Torch Relay ©Getty Images

Tokyo 2020 is expected to maintain the original Torch Relay schedule for the postponed Olympic Games.

The Olympics were postponed to next year just two days before the Torch Relay was due to start in Fukushima in March.

Organisers had reportedly weighed up major changes to the Torch Relay in an effort to simplify and cut costs.

According to Kyodo News, the basic plan for the Torch Relay will remain as planned, however, with a reduction in the length of the Relay reportedly expected to have little impact on the cost.

A reduction would have required organisers to hold discussions with impacted sponsors and local Governments.

Tokyo 2020 are reportedly seeking to work with local organisers to determine how the Torch Relay can by simplified and reduce the risks posed by the coronavirus.

"We are continuing to respect the original framework as much as possible while we review how we organise the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Torch Relay," a source told Reuters.

Should Tokyo 2020 proceed with their original plans, the Torch Relay would last for 121 days.


The Olympic Games were postponed two days before the Torch Relay was scheduled to begin ©Getty Images

It would begin on March 25 at the J-Village National Football Training Centre in Fukushima Prefecture.

Fukushima was selected for the "grand start" as organisers are keen to use Tokyo 2020 to promote the region's recovery.

A devastating earthquake and tsunami, which caused a nuclear power plant to meltdown, resulted in the loss of more than 15,000 lives in 2011.

The Relay would then visit all of Japan's 47 prefectures as part of a nationwide tour, with 10,000 Torchbearers expected to run with the Flame.

The Torch is also expected to visit major landmarks in Japan in the build-up to the Games, before arriving at the Opening Ceremony of the postponed Olympics on July 23.

The rescheduled Olympics are due to take place until August 8 next year, followed by the Paralympics from August 24 to September 5.

In March, the Flame was lit in Ancient Olympia and it made the journey to Japan before the initial Relay was cancelled.

The Flame was put on public display in Fukushima before being moved to Tokyo.