The women’s marathon at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics and all the race walks have been rescheduled, following the controversial decision taken in October to move the events out of the capital 800km north to the city of Sapporo.
Tokyo 2020 organisers announced the rescheduling on Wednesday, following discussions with the International Olympic Committee and World Athletics, to ease the burden on National Olympic Committees and athletes travelling to northern Japan.
It now means that all the marathon and race walk events are scheduled to be held on four consecutive days, from 6-9 August, with the men’s marathon remaining on the final day of the Games, as per tradition.
“Athletes’ 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,” the IOCG’s Athletes’ Commission chair, Kirsty Coventry, said in a statement.
The IOC stunned Games organisers in October by announcing the marathon, one of the most prestigious events at any Olympics and one especially beloved in Japan, would be moved to the northern Japanese city of Sapporo to avoid the worst of Tokyo’s summer heat.
Tokyo temperatures in July and August, when the city will host the Games, regularly exceed 30C with high humidity adding to the discomfort.
Next year’s Games run from 24 July to 9 August