On Thursday, Dec. 19, 2019, the Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games Organizing Committee (Tokyo 2020 Organizing Committee) finalized the above marathon course for the Games of the 32nd Olympiad (Tokyo 2020) under the approval of World Athletics (WA).
Follow the finalization of the course, WA technical delegate and council member Sylvia Barlag commented, "It is always a challenge to create Olympic marathon and race walk courses. They require a balance between the environment provided to the athlete, showing off the charms of the host city, meeting technical and broadcast requirements, and other factors in order to provide a wonderful experience for spectators and an enjoyable Olympic Games. We have succeeded in meeting these challenges in Sapporo. I would like to thank everyone, including the athletes, who contributed to crafting this course on short notice. We look forward to seeing the world's best marathoners and race walkers competing for gold on our Sapporo courses."
The marathon course starts and finishes in Sapporo's Odori Park, covering a rectangular half marathon-length course for its first half and then two laps of a roughly 10 km segment of the northern half of the first loop. By utilizing a multi-loop circuit course, costs and organizational challenges for the Olympic Committee and related parties were minimized, allowing the staging of the event to be simplified and streamlined.
The long first loop is intended to be used as a half marathon that the city of Sapporo can hold annually in the future to give its hosting of the Olympic event some kind of tangible legacy. Starting at Sapporo TV Tower, the course makes two laps around Odori Park before heading out onto the city streets. Traversing local landmarks like Susukino, Nakajima Park, the Toyohira River, Soseigawa Avenue, Hokkaido University and the historical offices of the Hokkaido Prefectural Government, it is a course that will convey the history of the development of Sapporo and Hokkaido to the rest of the world. Additional refinements to the course including the precise determination of the start and finish points will be made in the future.
translated by Brett Larner