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2020 Sapporo Olympic Marathons and Race Walks to be Held With Four-Day Schedule

With the 2020 Tokyo Olympic marathons and race walks having been moved to Sapporo by the IOC, organizers have settled upon a four-day period for the events to be held and are currently in the final stages of settling the exact schedule. The men's marathon will be held as scheduled on the final day of the Olympic Games, Aug. 9, with the women's marathon moved from its original Aug. 2 date to Aug. 8. The three men's and women's race walk events will be held Aug. 6 and 7. Multiple sources involved in the planning confirmed the information.

The marathons will start and finish at Sapporo's Odori Park. The course will likely be a two-lap course through the city center as preferred by the organizing committee. World Athletics, the governing body of track and field, has insisted on a more compact course of around six laps, but in the interest of the Olympic Games having some sort of lasting legacy a proposal to use the course for a two-lap Olympic marathon as a half marathon following the Games has gained favor with the organizers.

For the race walks, two different plans are under consideration. One would have the men's 20 km on Aug. 6, the men's 50 km on the morning of Aug. 7 and the women's 20 km later the same evening. The other would see both 20 km races held on the 6th and only the men's 50 km on the 7th. Current plans call for the marathons to start at 7:00 a.m.

Following the IOC's relocation of the events away from Tokyo, the organizing committee initially wanted to stage the five events over a five-day period between July 31 and Aug. 9. However, World Athletics and other involved organizations decreed the events be held on a tighter schedule to reduce costs and logistical difficulties caused by the newly-introduced need for athletes and support staff to travel nearly a thousand kilometers away from Tokyo.

The current plan is still under discussion with the IOC and other groups. The organizing committee plans to finalize the course, schedule and other details at the IOC executive board meeting on Dec. 4.

source article:
https://www.tokyo-np.co.jp/article/sports/list/201912/CK2019120102000115.html
translated by Brett Larner

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