Tokyo 2020: Olympic marathon move to Sapporo is final - IOC

Eliud Kipchoge
Kenya's Eliud Kipchoge won the men's marathon at the Rio Games in 2016

The decision to move the marathon and race walking at next summer's Tokyo Olympics to Sapporo is final, says the International Olympic Committee.

The switch is being made because of the summer heat in the Japanese capital.

Tokyo governor Yuriko Koike had said she wanted the events to stay in the host city.

"It's not a matter of if the Tokyo government insists, the decision has been taken," said John Coates, chairman of the IOC's coordination commission.

The women's marathon at the recent World Championships in Doha saw 28 of the 68 starters withdraw, despite the race being run at midnight in a bid to negate the hot and humid conditions.

"The IOC was shocked by what we saw in Doha in very similar conditions, in terms of temperature and humidity, to what's expected here in Tokyo," said Coates.

"We didn't want Tokyo to be remembered for similar images as you will have seen in Doha in the marathon and in the race-walking events."

Koike has asked the IOC for detailed reasons for moving the race.

"A majority of Tokyo residents want the marathon and race walk to stay. We need to take their opinions seriously, and I share them," said Koike.

"Who proposed this? When did they propose it? These are all things I want to discuss."

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