Monday, May 23, 2022

Tokyo Olympics: All you need to know about the hockey venue turf

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Hockey Paper staff
Hockey Paper staff
Latest breaking news, previews and match reports written by Hockey Paper staff

The Oi Hockey venue

Officially opened in August 2019, all hockey will take place at the Oi Hockey Stadium, located in the waterfront area of Tokyo Bay. Competition will be showcased over two main pitches. The 15,000- capacity (reduced for the rescheduled Games) is located inside the Oi Central Seaside Park Sports Forest and the stadium is a permanent addition to the city.

What’s so special about the hockey pitches?

The Tokyo Games will be the first of a kind using regrowable raw materials thanks to Games official adhering to carbon-neutral targets and the FIH’s sustainable hockey commitments.

The surfaces are 60 per cent sugar cane – renewable polyethylene technology – which mean that only one-third of the water required for previous Olympic pitches will be required for the Tokyo Games. Specialists are hailing this as ‘climate-positive hockey’.

Polytan, the Germany-based company, says the Poligras material has a shorter pile and tighter knit, which makes the water sit for longer and reduces the amount needed to maintain the pitch, helps keep it cooler for longer and helps improve playing conditions.

Still confused? Okay, here’s more insight

It is based on Brazil-based petrochemical company Brakem’s “I’m green” polyethylene, a plastic made from sugarcane-derived ethanol. It is a biobased raw material that, during its growth, captures CO2 from the environment. Polytan says it has chosen this raw material for its artificial turf production as the carbon footprint has a positive impact compared to fossil-based polyethylene.

An elastic base layer ensures optimum absorption and is an important part of the entire hockey turf system. The Polytan PolyBase GT elastic layer, which has also been newly developed, gives the hockey turf an even better environmental balance. 

An elastic base layer ensures optimum absorption and is an important part of the entire hockey turf system. The Polytan PolyBase GT elastic layer, which has also been newly developed, gives the hockey turf an even better environmental balance. A binder that can score highly thanks to its reduced CO2 production is used for the permanent elastic binding of the granules.

For every kilogram of green polyethylene used in fields for the Olympic Games, almost five kilograms of CO2 emissions will be avoided. 

The surface was first implemented in 2017 and will be used for the next men’s and women’s World Cups.

Phew! Okay, back to the hockey…

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