Lona Chemtai Salpeter of Israel crosses the finish line to win the women's category of the Tokyo Marathon in Tokyo on March 1, 2020. - This year's Tokyo Marathon has been closed to all but elite runners due to mounting fears over the spread of the new coronavirus, which has affected dozens of sports events worldwide. (Photo by CHARLY TRIBALLEAU / AFP)

Tokyo marathon postponed

The Tokyo marathon has been postponed to March next year, organizers said Friday, blaming Covid-19 and ongoing restrictions in the Japanese capital.

Japan has seen the number of infections decline following a record spike last month, which prompted the government to expand and extended virus restrictions, despite the national vaccination programme ramping up.

“Even if the state of emergency has been lifted, it is difficult to determine whether we can deliver a safe and secure event with the current circumstance of the health services,” the Tokyo Marathon Foundation said in a course of decisions memo released on Friday morning. “Travel and many more restrictions are expected to continue.”

The race, originally set to take place earlier this year in March with around 38,000 runners, including top athletes participating, had already been postponed to October.

The 2020 Tokyo marathon was held in March with a reduced field of around 200 elite runners.

The postponement comes after Formula 1 announced in August the cancellation of October’s Japanese.

The Tokyo Marathon is the only World Marathon Major not taking place this year. The London Marathon and the Boston Marathon, both normally held in April, will take place on Sunday, October 3, and Monday, October 11, respectively. The Berlin, Chicago, and New York City Marathons will occur on their normally scheduled dates.

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