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Summer Olympics marathon to move out of Tokyo

Credit: Reuters Studio
Published on November 1, 2019 - Duration: 01:17s

Summer Olympics marathon to move out of Tokyo

The Japanese city of Sapporo was formally approved on Friday as host of the marathon events at next year's Summer Olympics.

The decision was made based on concerns about temperatures in Tokyo, which regularly exceed 30 degrees Celsius (86 F) in the summer months.

Ryan Brooks reports.

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Summer Olympics marathon to move out of Tokyo

Fears over sweltering summer heat in Tokyo have pushed marathon events for the 2020 Olympics out of the city.

On Friday (November 1) Tokyo governor Yuriko Koike gave her reluctant consent to relocate the event away from Japan's capital.

(SOUNDBITE) (Japanese) GOVERNOR OF TOKYO, YURIKO KOIKE, SAYING: "Although we cannot agree with the IOC's decision, the government of Tokyo has decided not to interfere because the IOC has the authority to make the final call." The International Olympic Committee said last month the marathon would be held in Sapporo 800 kilometers north of Tokyo.

With only nine months to go before the Games, the move stunned many organizers and sparked a standoff between the IOC and Koike.

Even after a flurry of meetings, the governor refused to budge and said she still thought the marathon and run-walk events should be held in her city.

She called the move a "decision without agreement".

Summer temperatures in Tokyo regularly break 30 degrees Celsius (or 86 degrees fahrenheit) and runners could face high humidity.

The IOC says it doesn't want a repeat of recent athletic world championships in Qatar where the heat forced many to drop out even though the marathon began at midnight.

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