At least the next 2 seasons, the Tokyo Marathon is only for Japanese athletes because of concerns about Covid-19.

Tokyo Marathon organizers have just announced that the upcoming October 17 event will be an internal race, open only to Japanese runners. This is a decision that is considered difficult because of the strict regulations of Japanese authorities to prevent the Covid-19 wave.

International athletes who have signed up for the Tokyo Marathon will have to wait until 2023 to hit the streets of Japan. In addition, the tournament will reduce the number of participants from 38,000 to about 25,000. The running track is also more likely to have changes to match the scale.

Tokyo Marathon 2019 (Photo: Anadolu Agency)

Tokyo Marathon 2019. Photo: Anadolu Agency.

Tokyo Marathon usually takes place in February or March every year. However, Covid-19 caused this year’s race to be moved to the autumn. In the context of the epidemic still spreading in Japan, there is no guarantee that this year’s tournament will not be postponed again.

Last year, only professional athletes and wheelchair athletes who will participate in the Olympics can participate in the Tokyo Marathon. The remaining 38,000 runners are included in the “mass athletes” category and will not be able to compete. Most other races such as the Fukuoka and the international women’s marathon in Lake Biwa, Osaka and Nagoya in 2021 are closed to foreign runners.

Tokyo Marathon is one of the six largest running events in the world, belonging to the World Marathon Majors system, besides the ones in Boston, New York, Chicago, London and Berlin. Every year, the running tournament in Japan divides professional and movement categories, for runners to compete. Movement athletes must participate in a lucky draw and be selected from hundreds of thousands of registrations worldwide.

Thanh Duong

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