Sapporo venue for Tokyo 2020 marathon, race walks fixed

Sapporo's Odori Park has been fixed as the venue for both the men and women's marathons and race walking events at next year's Games.

Tokyo Olympics's marathons and walk race will begin and finish at the city's Odori Park.   -  AP

The men's marathon at the Tokyo Olympics will be held early in the morning of the Games' final day in a Sapporo park on the northern island of Hokkaido in a bid to avoid the heat and humidity of the Japanese capital, the IOC announced Wednesday.

Sapporo's Odori Park, used in the past as a venue for the Hokkaido Marathon, has been fixed as the venue for both the men and women's marathons and race walking events at next year's Games.

“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,” said Kirsty Coventry, chair of the International Olympic Committee's Athletes' Commission.

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The IOC said the competition schedules had also been revamped to facilitate the support of National Olympic Committee officials and coaches to the athletes, as Sapporo is located 800km to the north of Tokyo.

The marathon and race walk events are now scheduled to be held on four consecutive days, from August 6-9, with the Olympics running from July 24.

“We appreciate that, through the support of so many people, Sapporo Odori Park could be approved as a venue so quickly following the decision to move these events,” added Tokyo 2020 CEO Toshiro Muto.

“With less than eight months to go until the opening of the Tokyo 2020 Games, Tokyo 2020 will continue to work closely as one team with all the parties involved in their preparation.”

Schedule (all times local)

Aug 6: Men's 20km race walk (4.30pm)

Aug 7: Men's 50km race walk (5.30am); Women's 20km race walk (4.30pm)

Aug 8: Women's marathon (7.00am)

Aug 9: Men's marathon (7.00am)