- Title: Fans flock to Izu Velodrome for first indoor Tokyo 2020 event with spectators
- Date: 2nd August 2021
- Summary: IZU, JAPAN (AUGUST 2, 2021) (REUTERS) SHUZENJI STATION PEOPLE ARRIVING AT THE STATION PEOPLE CHECKING IN WITH OLYMPIC VOLUNTEERS AND SANITISING THEIR HANDS MAN BEING GIVEN AN OLYMPIC PIN BADGE AND INFORMATION FOR THE CYCLING EVENT VARIOUS PEOPLE QUEUING FOR SHUTTLE BUS (SOUNDBITE) (Japanese) OKAYAMA NOBUHISA AND OKAYAMA YASUYO, SAYING: NOBUHISA, SAYING: "It's quite difficult, I am a bit worried as the infection is spreading but..." YASUYO, SAYING: "It is a rare opportunity, so I think I would like to enjoy (the Olympics) today." PEOPLE LEAVING TO GET ON BUS PEOPLE WALKING TO BUS PEOPLE SANITISING HANDS PEOPLE WALKING TO SHUTTLE BUS VARIOUS OF PEOPLE GETTING ON SHUTTLE BUS BUS LEAVING (SOUNDBITE) (Japanese) CHRIS KIMBER, BRITISH EX PAT LIVING IN TOKYO, SAYING: "Almost a million to one kind of thing, we are super lucky to have the tickets and we are really excited it is just a shame that we couldn't see everything in Tokyo and that everything was closed there, but Shizuoka, it is all go down here. So really excited and hopefully we get to see some Team GB medals today and the rest of this week." EXTERIOR OF VELODROME BUS ARRIVING PEOPLE GETTING OFF BUS PEOPLE WALKING TO VELODROME 18 .(SOUNDBITE) (Japanese) IMAI TASUKU, SAYING: "I haven't checked inside yet, but everyone I saw as I was coming here was taking prevention measures, so I feel safe to be here." PEOPLE WALKING IN PEOPLE SANITISING HANDS PEOPLE WALKING IN PROTEST OUTSIDE SHUZENJI STATION FLAGS WITH 'STOP OLYMPICS' SIGNS PROTESTER SHOUTING INTO MEGAPHONE VARIOUS OF PROTEST (SOUNDBITE) (Japanese) ANTI-OLYMPICS PROTESTER, HORI YOSHINOBU, SAYING: "Because of this (the Olympics), I am concerned that the number of infected people will surge explosively in Shuzenji Temple (area) as well. And now, in the eastern part of this (Shizuoka) prefecture, the medical system is apparently in a state of crisis. Patients other than those infected with coronavirus could be abandoned, and lives that could be saved will not be saved. I hope that this (Olympics) will be stopped as soon as possible." OLYMPIC VOLUNTEERS LEAFLET ADVERTISING THE VELODROME EXTERIOR OF STATION WITH MASCOTS MASCOTS VARIOUS OF PEOPLE SITTING ON BENCH WITH SMALL BICYCLES IN BACKGROUND
- Embargoed: 16th August 2021 08:54
- Keywords: Izu Velodrome Japan Olympic spectators Tokyo 2020 track cycling
- Location: IZU, JAPAN
- City: IZU, JAPAN
- Country: Japan
- Topics: Asia / Pacific,Olympics,Sport
- Reuters ID: LVA001EOL6LON
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: After more than a week of spectator less Olympic arenas, fans arriving to the Izu Velodrome on Monday (August 2) to view the action at close quarters are a welcome tonic for the beleaguered Games.
A 50% capacity of up to 1,800 is permitted at the track cycling venue up in the forested hills near Mount Fuji, outside Tokyo, where tougher COVID-19 restrictions apply.
These ticketed fans will become the first at these Games to watch events inside a venue, though thousands did line the roads for the cycling road races on the opening weekend, and there were spectators at events including the mountain biking and triathlon.
Some even watched the BMX action from a bridge in Tokyo's Ariake Sports Park over the weekend.
On a rainy Monday morning, a steady stream of fans arrived at Shuzenji station, the closest link to the Izu velodrome, 130km (81 miles) west of Tokyo, many of them having taken the Shinkansen bullet train up from Tokyo.
But not everyone was pleased to see the Games come to town, with several elderly protesters shouting anti-Olympics comments at the station.
Had Tokyo organisers stuck to their original plan to build a new $100 million velodrome in Tokyo, the world's best track cyclists would have been riding around in near silence this week, except for the whirring of their wheels.
Instead, to reel in ballooning costs, it was decided to use the Izu resort, a cycling theme park, where the silver-domed velodrome built in 2011 nestles in the forests.
Cycling's governing body, the UCI, were not keen on the move, saying it would rob athletes of the Olympic village experience and prove difficult for fans to travel.
As it turns out, riders will have their Olympic experience enhanced by having fans track-side.
The first of seven days of track action, which will see 12 gold medals awarded, was due to start at 3:30pm local time, with the women's team sprint gold medal being decided later in the day.
(Production: Xihao Jiang and Iain Axon)
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