Tokyo 2020 Swimming Finals May Be Held In Morning, Like Beijing

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. (

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.

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Western Hemisphere assertiveness <3.


Terrible idea.

Sir Swimsalot

Agreed. It’s such a wacky schedule


Terrible idea? Why? It will bring in more revenue by playing live during prime time in the USA. In case you didn’t know, the ultimate goal of an entertainment industry like sports is to make money.

Years of Plain Suck

I’m sure FINA will pass its significantly increased revenues along to the medal-winning swimmers in the form of significantly increased cash bonuses. [Unlikely.]


This is good, swimmers are used to swimming fast in the morning. Even though they can adapt, this is easier and better.


Well for the swimmers in Japan that is, the Americans will have to adapt as usual.

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