Tokyo 2020; Decision to relocate Olympic marathon and race walking events to Sapporo now confirmed

From the International Olympic Committee;

Unity underlined in efforts to deliver successful Olympic Game

During the ninth IOC Coordination Commission visit to Tokyo (30 October – 1 November), the Tokyo 2020 Organising Committee presented significant progress towards hosting spectacular Olympic Games in less than nine months’ time.

On the final day of the visit, a four-party working group meeting took place, during which the next steps in moving the marathon and race walk events to Sapporo were discussed.

“We thank the four-party working group for productive discussions and cooperation in the change of venue for the marathon and race walk, in order to safeguard the health of the athletes. We look forward to moving forward as a united team, something which has successfully characterised these Olympic Games to date,” said IOC Coordination Commission Chair John Coates.

“On behalf of the IOC, we also want to express our sincere appreciation to the people of Tokyo. We can fully understand the concerns and disappointment of Tokyoites, who are so enthusiastic and involved in these Olympic Games. It is for this reason that we have proposed to organise, together with the Tokyo Metropolitan Government (TMG), an ‘Olympic Celebration marathon’ after the Olympic and Paralympic Games. It will be an opportunity to say thank you and celebrate the outstanding contribution of the TMG and the people of Tokyo to the success of the Olympic and Paralympic Games.”

The four-party working group agreed to the following points at the Coordination Commission meeting:
– The authority to change the venue belongs to the IOC.
– The TMG will not be asked to bear the cost that is newly incurred when the venues are moved to Sapporo.
– The expenses which were already made by the TMG and Tokyo 2020 in relation to the marathon and race walk will be examined and verified, and the expenses that the TMG cannot use for other purposes will not be borne by the TMG.
– There will be no future venue changes other than marathon and race walk.

Moving forward, the IOC will begin planning with Tokyo 2020 and the relevant local authorities, as well as continue to coordinate with the IAAF to ensure that the athletes compete on the best field of play.

“During the meeting today, the IOC conveyed its thoughtful words to many Olympic fans in Japan, and Chairman Coates read to us a message from IOC President Bach,” said Tokyo 2020 President Yoshiro Mori. “We in the Organising Committee share these sentiments. We appreciate the fans’ enthusiasm and will come together as one team and make our best efforts to ensure the success of the Games. After the four-party meeting, I contacted Sapporo mayor Akimoto and Hokkaido governor Suzuki. Both were very honoured and said that they will be well prepared.”


Full press release here