Securing the use of all venues, including the athletes village, is the priority for organizers facing the mammoth task of postponing the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games by a year, the International Olympic Committee said Thursday.
A task force established to handle the postponement to the summer of 2021, brought about by the coronavirus pandemic, is reviewing the use of dozens of sports venues, media facilities and the village, parts of which have already been sold off as condominiums.
The organizers must reexamine "very detailed contracts" for the venues, while also changing tens of thousands of hotel bookings and countless arrangements for the supply of goods and services, IOC executive Christophe Dubi told reporters during a teleconference on Thursday.
"All of this now has to be re-secured one year later," Dubi said.
Ensuring the Tokyo waterfront village will remain the "home away from home for the athletes" is "part of the first priority," he said.
The marathon and race walking events, which had been moved to Sapporo at short notice, will almost certainly remain in the city in northern Japan, the IOC said.
Speaking during the teleconference, IOC sports director Kit McConnell said he did not envisage any change to either the Sapporo venue -- chosen to avoid the extreme heat and humidity of Tokyo's summer -- or the events' schedule.
All the Sapporo events were to take place over the Olympics' last four days, with the women's marathon now on Aug. 7, and the men's race on the same day as the closing ceremony, now set for Aug. 8, 2021.
The IOC made the decision last October to move the races to the most northern of Japan's four main islands after the world athletics championships in Doha demonstrated the problems of staging endurance events in extreme heat.
While athletes who have already qualified for the games will carry over qualification to next year in principle, the final decision will remain with each national Olympic committee, McConnell said.
"In all sports, the NOC retains the right to select the individual athlete from anyone who is eligible to fill that place," McConnell said, saying that the rule was defined in the Olympic Charter.
"That right of the NOC will remain in place for next year."
He also said that ages for qualifying established by international federations would be discussed and hopefully hammered out in the next few weeks. Any decision will have particular interest to men's soccer players, for whom the Olympics is primarily an under-23 competition.