By Duncan Mackay at the Windsor Atlântica Hotel in Rio de Janeiro

Baji Park will host the equestrian events during Tokyo 2020 ©Japan Racing Authority Changes to the venue for the equestrian events at Tokyo 2020 have been welcomed by the sport's world governing body.

The International Olympic Committee's (IOC) ruling Executive Board accepted a proposal from Japanese officials here on on Friday (February 27) that the main equestrian site will now be at Baji Koen, the Japan Racing Authority-owned facility that hosted equestrian events during the 1964 Olympics, the last time the Games were staged in the Japanese capital.

The Baji Koen will host the Olympic dressage and jumping disciplines, as well as the eventing dressage and jumping phases.

Equestrian was one of three sports where venue changes were agreed, along with basketball and canoe slalom. 

The eventing cross-country phase remains at Sea Forest, also known as Umi no Mori, in Tokyo Bay.

Olympic rowing, canoe sprint and mountain biking will also be staged at Sea Forest.

Under the original plans submitted by Tokyo 2020, the main equestrian venue was to have been at Dream Island on Tokyo Bay.

Sea Forest will still host the equestrian cross-country event, as per the original plan proposed by Tokyo 2020 ©AFP/Getty ImagesSea Forest will still host the equestrian cross-country event, as per the original plan proposed by Tokyo 2020 ©AFP/Getty Images

The switch to Baji Koen puts equestrian sport right back in the centre of the Olympic cluster and the use of an existing facility is also in line with the Olympic Agenda 2020 recommendations on both costs and sustainability, it has been claimed by International Federation Equestrian (FEI) officials.

In Tokyo's original bid, 33 per cent of the venues were using pre-existing facilities, but the changes announced on Friday have increased that to 50 per cent, less than three months after the Agenda 2020 recommendations were unanimously approved by the IOC in Monaco last December.

It is estimated that these changes will save Japan $1 billion (£650 million/€890 million)

"The FEI has been working very closely with the Tokyo 2020 Organising Committee, visiting all venues and carefully considering all options, and we are very impressed with both the Baji Koen and Sea Forest sites," said Tim Hadaway, the FEI's Director of Games and Championships, who oversaw the the widely-praised London 2012 equestrian competition at Greenwich Park. 

New FEI President Ingmar De Vos claimed the clarity would now allow them to begin preparations properly for Tokyo 2020. 

"We were more than happy to agree to a venue change that helps Tokyo stay in line with the Olympic Agenda 2020 recommendations and especially as Baji Koen is a beautiful public park that will make a spectacular venue for the 2020 Olympic equestrian events and keeps our sport right at the heart of the Games," he said.

"We celebrated 100 years in the Olympic Movement in London 2012 and with Tokyo 2020 in our sights, our focus is firmly on providing a strong legacy for equestrian sport in Japan.

"We are looking forward to putting the spotlight on our sport in Tokyo."

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