While visiting Japan this week, Vice President of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), John Coates, spoke briefly to the topic of Olympic swimming and timing at the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games. As with past editions of the Summer Olympics, swimming finals at the 2020 Tokyo Games will most likely take place in the morning local time in order to accommodate America’s broadcasting network, NBC.
“I think there is a possibility that swimming will be the same as Beijing,” said Coates. (Asahi.com)
The 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing, China saw its pool event prelims held in the evening local time, with semifinals/finals held in the following morning session. The shift from normally held morning prelims and evening finals was to accommodate NBC’s request that finals for the event be shown ‘live’ in the USA.
The swimming schedule was a subject of debate at the most recent edition of the Games in Rio, with prelims starting at 1pm local time and finals beginning at 10pm. This allowed America’s East Coast to view the action live at 11am eastern and 9pm eastern, respectively. Tokyo is 13 hours ahead of eastern, whereas Beijing is 12 hours ahead.