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Tokyo mulls 3am Olympic marathon to counter IOC plan to move race

Tokyo mulls 3am Olympic marathon to counter IOC plan to move race
By Reuters

24/10/2019 at 15:04Updated 24/10/2019 at 15:09

Tokyo, host of the 2020 Olympic Games, is considering making a proposal to start marathon and race walking events as early as 3:00 a.m.

The aim is to counter an International Olympic Committee (IOC) decision to move the races to Sapporo due to concerns about heat in the capital, Kyodo news agency said on Thursday.

Earlier this month, the IOC this month announced a plan to move the marathon and race walking events to Sapporo, on Japan's northern island of Hokkaido.

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Kyodo, citing unnamed sources, said Tokyo is looking into an alternative plan to have the races start at 3am or 5am to keep them in the city.

An official at the Tokyo metropolitan government's Olympic preparation bureau told Reuters he was not aware of such a plan.

Yoshiro Mori, the president of Tokyo 2020 Olympics, said the city had little choice but to accept the IOC plan, but Tokyo governor Yuriko Koike believes the races should be held in Tokyo.

"We have made many preparations and there's no change in my thinking that it should be held in Tokyo," she told reporters last week.

IOC President Thomas Bach said in a statement: "Athletes' health and well-being are always at the heart of our concerns.

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"The Olympic Games are the platform where athletes can give 'once-in-a-lifetime' performances, and these measures ensure they have the conditions to give their best."