National

New running facility opens in Tokyo for athletes of all stripes

by Tomoko Otake

Staff Writer

As the metropolis gears up to host the Olympics and Paralympics in four years’ time, a new running stadium opened in Tokyo on Friday. The private-sector facility will provide an inclusive training venue for athletes of all stripes.

The Shin-Toyosu Brillia Running Stadium, located in Koto Ward and resembling a tunnel from the outside, features a six-lane, 60-meter-long track, where running coaches will be stationed.

It is also equipped with a wheelchair-accessible shower-room, and houses a laboratory for Xiborg, a prosthetics developer headed by MIT-educated mechanical engineer Ken Endo.

Xiborg will develop athletic blades for top amputee runners and provide tuning services for them at the site.

“We want to make it a venue where anyone, regardless of whether they have a disability or not, will be able to express themselves through sports or art,” said Dai Tamesue, a retired Olympic hurdler who serves as stadium director.

“What’s unique about this facility is that, unlike conventional facilities tailored for Olympians and Paralympians separately, here both types of athletes will be mixed.”

The stadium will also give performing artists a place to train and practice. Yokohama-based NPO Slow Label, which runs the performing arts project Slow Movement, will be involved in running the venue.

The art project, which includes both able-bodied and disabled performers, will hold workshops and training sessions at the site, inviting professional dancers and artists from abroad, according to the facility.

The stadium, for which major developer Tokyo Tatemono Co. has shouldered building costs, will also launch a running school for children. It will be open to the public from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Fees are ¥800 per day and ¥3,000 per month for regular users, and ¥500 per day and ¥2,000 per month for students and disabled people.

For more information, visit running-stadium.tokyo.