A typhoon that formed south of Japan late Friday has driven Tokyo 2020 Olympic organizers to move up the Olympic rowing schedule.
.The Japan Meteorological Agency is tracking its progress and projects typhoon Nepartak’s path will hit the Tokyo area. Forecasts predict the typhoon may affect Tokyo early next week on Tuesday.
All of Monday’s rowing events will be contested on Sunday and rowing events scheduled for Sunday have been moved up to Saturday, Tokyo Organizers announced early Saturday. You can view the updated Olympic rowing schedule here.
This decision will have the greatest impact on rowers who participated in the Opening Ceremony on Friday and will now have to compete on Saturday. This includes Great Britain’s flag bearer Mohamed Sbihi.
“The technology we have from the Japanese Meteorological Agency to see what is coming up is a very big plus,” Olympic Games executive director Christophe Dubi said at a news briefing on Saturday, according to ESPN.
He reassured the press that “this was anticipated.”
Indeed, even American meteorologist Eric Holthaus caught the potential typhoon on Wednesday and posted to social media. CNN reported that another storm, Typhoon In-fa, was about 200 miles from Okinawa, on the southeast coast of Japan, as of 6 am EST Friday. This typhoon has now steered away from Japan and is expected to remain in China.
“Changing the schedule is not a rare event, and we understand the burden it’ll have on athletes,” Tokyo 2020 organizing committee spokesperson Takaya Masa noted, according to ESPN.
“We’re looking closely at the path of the typhoon to make decisions as preventative measures. Should it make land, there could be damages, and if that’s going to be the case, we will take responsible measures.”
The storm has caused a mixed reaction from the Olympic athletes. Australian surfer Owen Wright expressed excitement over the incoming swells. Bronze medalist in sailing Sam Meech raised his concern on social media. Tokyo is the first Olympics where surfing will be contested and the competition is set to begin on July 26th.
So far only rowing’s schedule has been affected.
Swimming, diving, artistic swimming, water polo, and open water swimming will likely be unaffected by the typhoons as the first four sports take place indoors and open water swimming begins August 4th.