Olympic Games postponement cost Sh209bn, says media report

This year’s postponement of the Tokyo Olympics because of the novel coronavirus cost about 200 billion yen (Sh211 trillion), organisers have estimated, the Yomiuri newspaper reported on Sunday, citing people involved with the event.
The International Olympic Committee and the Japanese government were forced to put off the Games for a year in March as the coronavirus spread rapidly around the world.
The Games cost $13 billion (Sh1.4 trillion) before the postponement, the newspaper reported.
The organising committee will decide on a breakdown of the burden of the delay in December, after discussions between the committee, the Tokyo metropolitan government and the central government, the newspaper said.
A spokesman for the organisers, asked about the report, told Reuters by text message only that the committee is examining the extra costs associated with the delay.
The postponement costs include payment to staff as well as the introduction of new systems for refunding tickets but do not include measures against the spread of the coronavirus, the newspaper said.
The organisers had originally estimated that the delay would cost nearly 300 billion yen (Sh317 trillion) but they were able to reduce that figure by simplifying some events, the report said.
Meanwhile, Tokyo Olympic hopeful Kaylee McKeown has confirmed her rich vein of form by claiming a 200 metres backstroke short course world record at the virtual Australian national championships in Brisbane.
The teenager clocked one minute 58.94 seconds to take nearly half a second off Hungarian Katinka Hosszu’s 2014 mark (1:59.23).
“Short course is something we don’t get to do very often, so I was excited to see what I could put up after some solid training this year,” said 19-year-old McKeown. “I headed over to my teammates and my coach and they said, ‘You just got a world-record!’, and I was like, ‘What?’. I didn’t actually know till a few minutes later.”
Australia’s national short course swimming championships were moved to a virtual platform this year because of the pandemic, with swimmers competing simultaneously in pools in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth and Hobart.
In long course meets, McKeown won gold in the 50m, silver in the 100m and bronze in the 200m backstroke at the 2018 Youth Olympics before claiming a senior world championship silver in the 200m in Gwangju last year.
She swam the seventh-fastest 200m (2:05.83) and ninth-fastest 100m (58.62) of all time in January before the Covid-19 pandemic put her season on hold.
She returned to improve her personal bests in the 100m to 58.11 and the 200m to 2:04.49 to take the Australian records in Brisbane earlier this month. The health crisis also forced the postponement of the Tokyo Olympics by 12 months, but that has not diminished McKeown’s determination to earn a place at the biggest swimming meet of them all.
“In Australia, we have some of the top women in the world racing in my events, so it’s tough,” she told the Olympic website last month. “But being able to go to the Olympic Games is what I’ve been dreaming of.”

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