One of the most anticipated competitions of 2018, the Pan Pacific Championships, will now be undergoing a change of venue. According to Japanese news source Mainichi Paper, the Japanese Swimming Federation has announced that Odaiba Seaside Park, site of the open water portion of this year’s Pan Pacific Championships, will be moved due to additional water quality tests overlapping with the championship timespan. The site is also set to be the venue for Tokyo 2020.
We reported in late 2017 how water tests conducted last summer revealed that day-to-day water quality at Odaiba varied significantly depending on weather conditions, particularly on whether or not it had rained. Of the samples collected over the test period, just 10 days saw the marathon swimming water quality standards meet those specified by FINA, while only 6 days saw the triathlon quality standards meet those specified by the International Triathlon Union (ITU).
Odaiba Seaside Park is also the site of the triathlon and marathon swimming venues for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, with the Pan Pacific competition serving as an early test competition. Tokyo 2020 organizers have pledged to keep water clean and safe ongoing, however, time is running out for the water quality to be improved by August, the timeframe of the Pan Pacs.
The Japanese Swimming Federation is reportedly looking at a replacement venue in Tateyama City, Chiba Prefecture, although nothing has yet been announced and there is no news on the official website, www.panpacs2018.com.
The Pan Pacific Swimming Championships were founded by 4 nations – Canada, Japan, the United States and Australia – in 1985. Hosting duties rotate between those four countries, though there are other nations who compete in the event. Japan has hosted Pan Pacs more than any other nation, but hasn’t hosted the event since 2002.
This article has been updated since original publishing.