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IOC and World Athletics Officials On Sapporo Junket to See Potential Olympic Marathon Course

IOC and World Athletics officials are in Sapporo to see the potential course for next summer's Tokyo Olympics marathon. On the morning of Dec. 14 officials from both groups and members of the Olympic Games Organizing Committee visited Odori Park, the designated start and finish point for the marathon. The first 20 km of the course have been set, but the remaining section has yet to be determined. The Organizing Committee wants to use the same 20 km loop for the second half of the race, but World Athletics insists upon using three laps of a 7 km loop. The visiting officials will tour the course by bus until 4:00 p.m., hopefully using the experience to finalize the rest of the course at some point in the near future.

Translator's note: In the video above it appears that there were at least eight, maybe nine visiting IOC and World Athletics officials in attendance.

source article:
http://www.news24.jp/nnn/news16434946.html
translated by Brett Larner

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A Crisis for Tokyo Olympics Over IOC Promise that Marathon Swimming Will Be Held in Tokyo Bay

There is plenty of worry over the heat expected at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. The marathons and race walks were controversially moved to Sapporo, but the fate of the marathon swimming event remains uncertain. According to reports by the AP last week, American officials are making a stink about the water quality and water temperature at the Odaiba site for marathon swimming in Tokyo Bay.

The AP reports that even prior to the announcement of the marathon being moved to Sapporo, a group of athletes and 11,000 supporters had requested that the marathon swimming venue in Tokyo Bay be moved. It quoted unhappy voices from the group of athletes who plan to participate in the Tokyo Olympics, saying, "We want to take part in the Olympics, but what kind of price will we have to pay?" In addition, it said that a group of American officials were scouting locations for an alternate venue in one of the lakes at the base of Mount Fuji.

The Tokyo Olympics marathon swimming competition is a 10…

Tokyo Paralympics Marathon Course to Remain Unchanged and In Tokyo

A few weeks ago the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games marathons were abruptly moved to Sapporo on a whim by the IOC. The 2020 Tokyo Paralympic Games marathon, however, will still be held in Tokyo as scheduled on Sept. 6, the final day of the Games. With runners faced by a variety of physical challenges all competing for gold, the Paralympic marathon can be enjoyed from courseside just as much as the one at the Olympics.

The Tokyo Paralympics marathon course is identical to that originally planned for the Olympics. Both the 2012 London Olympics and 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics had multi-lap circuit courses, but this time the course will offer a wide-ranging tour of all Tokyo's major landmarks. Starting at the new Olympic Stadium, the course passes near Sensoji Temple, Tokyo Station, Kabukiza Theater, Tokyo Tower and the Imperial Palace before returning for a finish back inside the Olympic Stadium. Organizing Committee official Koji Murofushi commented, "It's a dynamic course unlik…

National High School Ekiden Championships Introduces Mandatory Testing for All Athletes

At a Dec. 10 press conference in Osaka, organizers of the Dec. 22 National High School Ekiden Championships announced that mandatory testing for iron injections will be introduced at this year's race. Iron injections can help to increase hemoglobin levels in the body, mimicking the effect of altitude training. The introduction of testing comes at the insistence of the JAAF.

An official commented, "Iron injections are suitable as a treatment for anaemia, but as a means of enhancing performance they are inappropriate. The injections can have side effects upon the body, so testing will be introduced to protect the athletes." All athletes competing at the National High School Ekiden Championships will be tested over a five-day period from Dec. 23 to Dec. 27.

Background on this story detailing the prevalence of iron injection usage to enhance performance and on the JAAF's pre-Olympic push to clean things up.

source article:
https://www.nikkansports.com/sports/athletics/news…

Sapporo City Council Weighs Proposal for $6.5 Million Supplementary Budget to Resurface 8.7 km Segment of 2020 Olympic Marathon and Race Walk Courses

On Dec. 9 the Sapporo City Council heard a proposal for a 700 million yen [~$6.5 million USD] supplementary budget to cover costs of roadwork on the 2020 Olympic race walk course and as yet not fully determined marathon course. 8.7 km of the 10.7 km of the courses under city jurisdiction were judged to need repair work ahead of the Olympics. The road work would be set to begin in early March next year with a target completion date by the end of May.

With regard to the events' courses, on Dec. 4 the IOC executive board reached a final agreement on the race walk courses along Sapporo Ekimae street, but they only approved of the first 20 km of organizers' proposed marathon course. The 2020 Olympic Organizing Committee aims to have the rest of the course settled before the end of the month.

The city's calculation for the road work expenditures in its proposal was based only on the first 20 km of the marathon course. The Organizing Committee had requested the Sapporo city gove…

Two People Permanently Banned After Using Bicycle at Shanghai Marathon

Two runners who cheated at the Nov. 17 Shanghai International Marathon have been permanently banned from the event. According to organizers and domestic media, one of the two rode a bicycle to make up part of the race's distance.

China is currently in the midst of a major boom in the popularity of running and marathons, but incidents of cheating are spreading at the same pace. At this year's Shanghai Marathon four people were penalized for violating race rules and regulations. The most brazen among them was a female runner who ran with a male bib number and was caught riding a bicycle, according to The Beijing News.

Race organizers said that the woman, identified by her last name Zhao, has been permanently banned from all their events, commenting, "The orderly conduct of the race was significantly disturbed." The man whose bib the woman wore was also permanently banned for "being involved in committing fraud and for failure to prevent the events from happening.…

Jepchirchir Wins Saitama, Yugeta Breaks Own 60+ WR, Yamaguchi Breaks Own Nara CR - Weekend Marathon Highlights

Two of Japan's main year-ending marathons celebrated anniversary runnings this year, with the Saitama International Marathon holding its 5th edition and the Nara Marathon marking ten years.

Former half marathon world record holder Peres Jepchirchir (Kenya) dropped the competition at 30 km to win in Saitama. Within the first kilometer an all-African lead group had left top Japanese entrants Kaori Yoshida (Team RxL) and Kasumi Yoshida (Nitori), and Nina Savina (Belarus) behind. The lead group quickly rounded down to four, Jepchirchir and Ethiopian trio Fatuma Sado, Belaynesh Oljira and Rahma Tusa. #1-ranked Oljira slipped off early in the second half, and when the pacers stopped at 30 km Jepchirchir had no trouble getting rid of Tusa and Sado.

Jepchirchir took 1st in a PB of 2:23:50, with Sado a distant 2nd in 2:26:45. After 35 km Tusa ran into trouble, stopping and stretching out her legs and losing ground first to Oljira, 3rd in 2:27:11, and then Savina, who ran a PB 2:28:44 for …

Hironaka Breaks 5000 m Junior National Record and 2020 Olympic Standard

Just two weeks after her 19th birthday, Ririka Hironaka, star rookie for 2019 National Corporate Women's Ekiden champions Japan Post, ended the year in style with a nearly 18-second PB of 15:05.40 to break the great Kayoko Fukushi's U20 national record by 5 seconds and become just the second Japanese woman so far to break the 2020 Olympic standard in the 5000 m.

Running at Yamaguchi's National Corporate Women's Time Trials, after Kenyans Martha Mokaya (Canon AC Kyushu) and Hellen Ekarare (Toyota Jidoshokki) led the pack through opening splits of 3:01, 3:04 and 3:03, Hironaka took off in pursuit of the 15:10.00 Olympic standard, covering the next two 1000 m splits in 2:59 and 2:58. Along with breaking Fukushi's 2001-era junior record and clearing the Olympic standard, Hironaka moved up to all-time Japanese #5, following Nozomi Tanaka's all-time #2 15:00.01 at October's Doha World Championships to make this a pretty good year for the 5000 m by Japanese women…