The women’s marathon and all race walk at next year's Olympics in Tokyo have been rescheduled following a controversial decision by the International Olympic Committee to relocate it from the capital to the Northern Japanese city of Sapporo.
Tokyo 2020 organisers have confirmed changes to the dates to accommodate athletes travelling 800 kilometres (500 miles) to northern Japan.
The new changes mean that the races will now take place on four consecutive days from 6-9 August, with the women’s marathon being held on August 8 rather than August 2. As is tradition, the men’s marathon will take place on the final day of the Games.
The decision comes after the World Championships in Doha saw 28 athletes withdraw from the event due to concerns of unbearable heat with runners collapsing and failing to finish the race.
Kirsty Coventry, the IOC’s Athletes Commission chair said in a statement, “athlete's health and well-being are always at the heart of our concerns, and the decision to move the marathon and race walk events to Sapporo shows how seriously we take such concerns”.
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Tokyo’s temperatures during the Games are expected to exceed 30 degrees Celsius. The move to Sapporo would mean that athletes would avoid being exposed to the worst of Tokyo’s heat.
The men’s and women’s race walk will take place on 6-7 August.
The marathons are scheduled to take place on 8-9 August, both starting at 7 am local time (22:00 GMT).News Now - Sport News