Additional Tokyo 2020 sport schedules could be changed as tropical storm heads toward Japan

Rowing the first sport to alter its schedule ahead of the storm’s predicted arrival in Tokyo late Monday or Tuesday local time.

Tokyo 2020 Olympics - Rowing - Women's Four - Heats - Sea Forest Waterway, Tokyo, Japan - July 24, 2021. Annabelle McIntyre of Australia, Jessica Morrison of Australia, Rosemary Popa of Australia and Lucy Stephan of Australia in action REUTERS/Leah Millis
Tokyo 2020 Olympics - Rowing - Women's Four - Heats - Sea Forest Waterway, Tokyo, Japan - July 24, 2021. Annabelle McIntyre of Australia, Jessica Morrison of Australia, Rosemary Popa of Australia and Lucy Stephan of Australia in action REUTERS/Leah Millis

For Tokyo 2020, the old adage “when it rains, it pours” could literally be coming true this week.

The Games, delayed by a year due to the Covid-19 pandemic, finally began in earnest on Saturday amid strict protocols and almost no spectators.

Now there has been one change in the sports schedule with more likely to come as forecasters keep an eye on Tropical Storm Nepartak.

Nepartak is expected to move northward over the weekend and may become a threat to Tokyo late Monday or Tuesday local time. Accuweather reports the system is expected to remain a tropical storm but that it’s too early to tell what its exact track and intensity will be.

The Japan Meteorological Agency said the storm could bring “hazardous phenomena such as heavy rain, strong winds and high waves”.

Nepartak could be carrying maximum sustained winds of 40 mph (64 kmh) when it reaches Japan.

The rowing events scheduled for Monday have already been moved to Sunday due to the chance of bad weather. It’s likely there will be more changes in the coming hours.

“We are now in the process of making another decision to change a schedule,” Tokyo 2020 Sports Director Mikako Kotani told reporters on Sunday. She declined to name the sport but admitted there would be “some sports that will be impacted by the weather”.

IOC Sports Director Kit McConnell added “Competition schedule changes are a normal part of any Olympic Games, particularly those related to things like wind.”

Those sentiments echoed those of Olympic Games Executive Director Christophe Dubi from Saturday.

He added that having the expertise of the Japan Meteorological Agency available is “a very big plus” and that being able to make decisions days in advance makes for a more “comfortable” situation for all involved in the particular events.