Tokyo Marathon (This photo was downloaded from Facebook and is being used here for representation purpose only. No copyright violation intended.)

The 2020 Tokyo Marathon has cancelled entries from the general public.

The race will be restricted to marathon elites and wheelchair elites, a statement available on the website of the race said today (February 17, 2020).

According to it, new cases of COVID-19 (coronavirus) have been confirmed within Japan. “We have been preparing for the Tokyo Marathon 2020 (Sunday, March 1) while implementing preventive safety measures, however, now that case of COVID-19 has been confirmed within Tokyo, we cannot continue to launch the event within the scale we originally anticipated and we regret to inform you the following: The Tokyo Marathon 2020 will be held only for the marathon elites and the wheelchair elites.”

A report from Kyodo News said that 38,000 people were expected to participate in the event. The elite full marathon field had 176 runners and 30 wheelchair athletes. Amateur runners who registered for the 2020 Tokyo Marathon 2020 have been given a few options. They can defer their entry to the 2021 Tokyo Marathon. However “ runners who have deferred their entry to the Tokyo Marathon 2021 are required to pay the entry fees for the 2021 event. Abiding to the Entry Regulation, the entry fee and the donations received for the Tokyo Marathon 2020 will not be refunded,” the statement from the Tokyo Marathon organizers said, adding “ runners who have purchased the Tokyo Marathon 2020 Signature T-shirt, the item will be shipped following the event.”

“ Please be aware that depending on further situations, the conditions may change. Further information on the entry deferral to the Tokyo Marathon 2021 will be announced following April 1, 2020,’’ the statement said

(The authors, Latha Venkatraman and Shyam G Menon, are independent journalists based in Mumbai.)

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