— Published 5 May 2021

The marathon will have its pre-Olympic test


A new box will be ticked this Wednesday, May 5th for the organizers of the Tokyo Games, with the pre-Olympic marathon test. It takes place in Sapporo, in the prefecture of Hokkaido, on the course of the Olympic event. But the test-event, initially planned as part of the traditional Road Running Festival, will have a format reduced to a half marathon. Four of the Japanese runners qualified for the Games, plus half a dozen foreign athletes will take part in the race, which will have only 93 starters. Holding the competition was uncertain until the last moment, the city of Sapporo being strongly affected by the new wave of COVID-19. But one of the Olympics’ organizing committee official, Mori Yasuo, explained in a press conference on Tuesday, May 4th: it would have been difficult not to do a pre-Olympic test for the marathon, as the conditions of this discipline often prove to be unique. No less than 800 people are planned to be standing along the course, in particular to prevent the public from gathering on the side of the road and encourage the athletes.