Tokyo unveils Aquatics Centre with movable pool walls for 2020 Olympics

26 October 2020 (Last Updated October 26th, 2020 11:35)

Tokyo has unveiled the 15,000-seater swimming venue, Tokyo Aquatics Centre, for the 2020 Olympic Games set to begin next year.

Tokyo unveils Aquatics Centre with movable pool walls for 2020 Olympics
The notable feature of the centre is movable floors and walls in its main and sub pools. Credit: Tokyo 2020.

Tokyo has unveiled the 15,000-seater swimming venue, Tokyo Aquatics Centre, for the 2020 Olympic Games set to begin next year.

The $542m facility was opened in a ceremony attended by Tokyo Governor Koike Yuriko and Japanese swimmer Ikee Rikako, who made a comeback after being diagnosed with leukaemia.

Yuriko said: “With this, the venues that were specifically built for the Tokyo Olympics are now all complete.

“I get excited just thinking about the top athletes from Japan and the rest of the world that will be putting on a show here.”

Though the centre’s construction was completed in February, the opening ceremony took place seven months later owing to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The facility’s ceiling design is inspired by origami, a Japanese papercraft.

Located near the Tatsumi International Swimming Center, the facility has a ten-lane main pool, a sub pool and a diving pool.

The notable feature of the Tokyo Aquatics Centre is its movable floors and walls in the main and sub pools.

The movable walls allow the pool to be split into two adjacent short-course pools with the starting blocks that can be adjusted anywhere inside 50m.

In addition to this, the depth of the pool can be changed by up to three metres.

The water temperature in the pools is maintained by an environmentally friendly geothermal heating device.

This centre is one among the eight venues built for the games, which have been postponed to 23 July to 8 August next year. 

After the 2020 Games, Tokyo plans to utilise the facility to hold swimming competitions and aims to attract one million users a year.