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Main stadium for Tokyo 2020 bid to be designed by Britain’s Zaha Hadid

Kyodo

Britain’s Zaha Hadid Architects have won the design competition for Tokyo’s new National Stadium that will be used as the main venue for the 2020 Olympics if the city wins the right to stage the Games, the Japan Sport Council announced Thursday.

Iraqi-born Zaha Hadid, who designed the Aquatics Centre for this summer’s London Olympics, was chosen among 11 finalists whittled down from 46 applicants, both domestic and abroad.

In 2004, the 62-year-old Hadid won the Pritzker Prize, the architectural equivalent of the Nobel Prize.

“The design was truly radical and represents the vibrancy which sport is all about,” said architect Tadao Ando, who chaired the competition committee. “Its impact is what won it.”

The existing National Stadium was built in 1958 for the 1964 Summer Games in Tokyo. The renovated stadium will cost ¥130 billion yen and will seat 80,000 with a retractable roof.

It is set to be used for the 2019 Rugby World Cup and the 2020 Olympics — should Tokyo win the bid against Madrid and Istanbul next September.

“It’s so full of life,” Japanese Olympic Committee President Tsunekazu Takeda said. “It will serve as a fantastic symbol of the 2020 Tokyo Olympic bid.”