Next year's Tokyo marathon postponed until after Olympics

Tokyo (AFP) –


Next year's Tokyo marathon has been postponed until after the delayed 2020 Olympics, organisers said Friday, as the coronavirus pandemic continues to impact sporting events across the world.

The race was originally set to take place on March 7 and include around 38,000 runners, including top athletes.

But with restricted entry into the country and rules around big events, it is now being pushed back to October 17 "due to various restrictions related to the new coronavirus," a spokesman for the Tokyo Marathon Foundation told AFP.

Marathons worldwide were cancelled or severely scaled back this year as the deadly new disease spread.

The 2020 Tokyo marathon was held in March with a reduced field of around 200 elite runners.

The spokesman said holding the marathon later in 2021 could allow a larger race to take place, but added that the number of entrants was yet to be decided.

The news comes as questions swirl about how and whether the Olympics, also forced back a year by the Covid crisis, will go forward.

They are set to open on July 23, 2021, and organisers insist it can be done safely.

But many countries are experiencing fresh waves of infection and big questions, including whether spectators will be allowed, remain unresolved.