Japan Changes Venue for Olympic Marathon for Weather Reason

The marathon and walking contents of the 2020 Olympic Games are expected to be transferred to compete in Sapporo, where the weather is more pleasant than Tokyo.

On October 16, the International Olympic Committee announced plans to relocate the marathon and walking venues at the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games to Sapporo. The city is located on the island of Hokkaido, which is 800 kilometers north of Tokyo. This city has much more pleasant weather than Tokyo. According to the International Olympic Committee, summer temperatures in Sapporo are usually 5 to 6 degrees lower than Tokyo.

To avoid the heat and harsh humidity of the summer of Tokyo, the International Olympic Committee had set off its departure time at 6am. The women’s marathon is scheduled to take place on August 2, one week before the men’s content.

Sebastian Coe, President of the International Association of Athletics Federations, said they are working closely with the International Olympic Committee and Tokyo on the weather at the following year’s Olympics. In addition, they will continue to consider the proposal to relocate the athletics venue to Sapporo. Olympic organizers will discuss the issue of temperature during the meeting October 30 – November 1 in Tokyo.

Change of venue is one of the methods used by Tokyo, in consultation with the International Olympic Committee and the International Association of Athletics Federations, to limit the impact from the temperature next summer. The International Olympic Committee has notified athletes to participate in the proposal. The implementation process will be discussed with all stakeholders.

Tokyo held a marathon in September and arranged tents with a nebulizer for viewers. Authorities also delayed hours for long-distance events. However, many opinions suggest that this is not enough.

According to Kyodo, the difficulty here is that Japanese Olympic officials once described the Tokyo weather in July – August as an ideal place to compete when applying for the host. Therefore, Tokyo cannot change and offer an alternative location, such as Sapporo. This change should obviously be made, but the decision is too late.

Hot and humid weather was a nightmare for athletes at the world track and field championships held in Doha, Qatar, late September and early October. At the women’s marathon, nearly a third of the 70 Participating athletes must give up.