— Published 7 July 2021

The marathon and race walking behind closed doors


Sad perspective. The organizers of the Tokyo Games announced on Tuesday, July 6th, with a brief statement, their decision not to allow the public along the course of the marathon and race walking events, played in Sapporo between August 5th-8th. The decision was made after a meeting between the organizing committee, the authorities of the Hokkaido province and the city of Sapporo, and representatives of the Hokkaido police. The two Olympic marathons and the three race walking events (20 km for men and women, 50 km for men), will take place on a course without passers-by and spectators, because of COVID-19 infection risks. A meeting at the top is planned on Thursday, July 8th, the day of Thomas Bach’s arrival in Tokyo, between the IOC, the organizers of the Games, the IPC, and local and national authorities, to decide the number of spectators who will be authorized on Olympic sites. The announcement of closed doors events in Sapporo for the race walk and the marathon may lead to a new reduction of the spectators’ gauge, or even a complete absence of public during the night sessions.