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Olympics-Tokyo, IOC still at loggerheads over marathon move

Credit: Reuters - Sports
Published on October 30, 2019 - Duration: 01:29s

Olympics-Tokyo, IOC still at loggerheads over marathon move

The International Olympic Committee is still defending its decision to switch the 2020 Games marathon to the northern city of Sapporo, a decision that has infuriated the capital's governor Yuriko Koike

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Olympics-Tokyo, IOC still at loggerheads over marathon move

SHOWS: TOKYO, JAPAN (OCTOBER 30, 2019) (FOREIGN POOL - ACCESS ALL) 1.

(SOUNDBITE) (English) THE IOC'S COORDINATION COMMISSION CHIEF FOR THE TOKYO GAMES, JOHN COATES, SAYING: "All what you've done, all of your preparations, we owe it to the people of Tokyo, just as we owed it to the athletes of the world, we owe it to the people of Tokyo to make sure that they are fully briefed on the reasons.

And so if there's any further briefing that's needed, I'm prepared to do so.

I think I've offered to go on NHK with you and to do a joint interview if you would like to.

I'm happy to do that and I don't want us to leave here without us having a consensus and without there be continued good feeling between us." 2.

MEETING IN PROGRESS 3.

(SOUNDBITE) (English) TOKYO GOVERNOR, YURIKO KOIKE, SAYING: "It is my wish for the marathon and race walk to be held in Tokyo." 4.

MEETING IN PROGRESS 5.

(SOUNDBITE) (English) TOKYO GOVERNOR, YURIKO KOIKE, SAYING: "This coordination committee meeting is starting from today, I'd like the IOC to give a detailed explanation on the background and the reason for this change and plans which can be understood by the people of Tokyo." 6.

(SOUNDBITE) (English) TOKYO GOVERNOR, YURIKO KOIKE, SAYING: "We have less than nine months to go to the Games and we're now entering the final stages of preparations.

We consider it an unprecedented turn of events for the IOC to make such an abrupt proposal with no consultation or discussion whatsoever with the host city Tokyo beforehand." STORY: The International Olympic Committee (IOC) said on Wednesday (October 30) it wants Tokyo to understand the reasons why it is switching the 2020 Games marathon to the northern city of Sapporo, a decision that has infuriated the capital's governor Yuriko Koike.

The IOC announced a plan earlier this month to move the marathon and race walking events to the northern island of Hokkaido due to concerns about heat in Tokyo next summer, after they saw world championships in Doha where the heat and humidity forced many athletes to drop out of the race despite the marathon being held at midnight.

John Coates, the IOC's Coordination Commission chief for the Tokyo Games, said at the start of a regular Coordination Commission meeting that he did not want to leave at the end of the week without gaining the people of Tokyo's understanding about the move.

Koike, speaking at the same coordination committee meeting, repeated her stance that the races should remain in Tokyo.

Tokyo temperatures in July and August, when the city will host the Games, regularly exceed 30 degrees Celsius with high humidity adding to the discomfort.

Next year's Games are set to run from July 24 to Aug.

9, with the marathon to be held on the final day.

(Production: Jack Tarrant, Kwiyeon Ha)

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