How the Rugby World Cup will defeat typhoons
The Rugby World Cup kicks-off on Friday and organisers are ready for a battle against typhoons.
Japan’s organizers were recently taught a lesson when a massive typhoon smashed into Tokyo and disrupted some team’s arrivals to the event. Fortunately, it has only highlighted their ‘meticulous’ contingency planning.
World Cup Tournament director Alan Gilpin has said if it had happened during game day, matches would have been cancelled.
"From our perspective, one of the biggest typhoons in recent years has just come right through Tokyo and Yokohama, right into the heart of the tournament infrastructure for us and reassuringly, no problems," said Gilpin.
Typhoon Faxai hit Tokyo and Chiba with record winds and rainfall. It affected all transport to and from the capital’s airport, and power is still out across more than 90,000 households.
It left England marooned at the airport for five hours, while Australia were forced to delay taking off entirely.
But according to World Cup CEO Brett Gosper, these are just “minor hiccups compared to the size of the storm”.
"You never know until you execute the contingency plan, whether it is on track. But the planning is meticulous, and we know there are some likelihoods here that we'll have to deal with. All the plans are in place," said Gosper.
Currently, any decision to cancel a match in the Rugby World Cup would have to be made 24-hours ahead of kick-off, with the final decision coming eight hours before. If a match does get cancelled, that will count as a 0-0 draw in the standings, which might have a huge impact on what’s expected to be a hard-won tournament.