31 January 2008

Japan National Training Center (NTC) opens

New training center fuels dreams of gold@asahi

The NTC's total cost, including expenses to purchase the land site, was about 37.4 billion yen, according to the sports ministry.

The indoor training facility can be used by athletes in up to 10 sports, from gymnastics and judo to table tennis.

The judo facility is twice the size of the famed Kodokan, the headquarters of judo in Tokyo's Bunkyo Ward. The NTC facility has about 1,000 tatami mats.

Each practice facility has video cameras in place so athletes and coaches can later review their techniques.

The tennis courts use the same surfaces in stadiums hosting the U.S. and French Opens.

The outdoor training facility, featuring a 400-meter track, was completed in January 2007.

The JOC will operate an elite academy to foster young athletes into those capable of competing at the international level.

Table tennis and wrestling will join the academy project from April.

Six table tennis players and three wrestlers, all still in junior high school, will live and train at the NTC while attending a nearby school.

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