TOKYO — The International Olympic Committee, World Athletics and 2020 Tokyo Games organizers have agreed on the route for next year’s Olympic marathon in Sapporo, local organizing committee chief Yoshiro Mori said Thursday.
Starting and finishing at Odori Park in central Sapporo on Japan’s northern island of Hokkaido, the first stage of the course will consist of a 20-kilometer loop followed by two laps of an approximately 10-km segment, the organizers said.
World Athletics had initially pushed for six laps of a roughly 7-km course but agreed to the 20-km opening lap earlier this month. Discussions had continued on the remainder of the course.
“Today we have reached an agreement with the International Olympic Committee and World Athletics,” Mori said.
The IOC decided in October to shift the men’s and women’s marathon, along with all race walk events, to Sapporo in order to spare athletes from Tokyo’s severe heat during the July 24 to Aug. 9 games.
Earlier this month, the IOC confirmed the men’s marathon will start at 7 a.m. on the final day of the games, while the women’s race will start at the same time a day earlier.
Men’s marathon runners must fly from Sapporo to Tokyo following the race in order to receive their medals at the closing ceremony in accordance with recent Olympic tradition.