News ID: 92175
Publish Date : 07 July 2021 - 21:45

TOKYO (Reuters) - World Athletics said that it was surprised by the “seemingly inconsistent” decision to ask spectators to stay away from the marathon and race walk at the Tokyo Olympics, outdoor events that are hugely popular in Japan.
Organizers had earlier asked the public not to gather on the streets for the events to reduce the risk of infection amid the COVID-19 pandemic, after a technical working group meeting with Hokkaido prefectural and Sapporo city authorities and police.
The decision is a blow to fans in a country where the marathon has gained in popularity in recent years, after Naoko Takahashi and Mizuki Noguchi won gold in the women’s event in 2000 and 2004 respectively.
“World Athletics is surprised by this new decision about our events in Sapporo, which is seemingly inconsistent with the decision to allow up to 10,000 spectators in venues in Tokyo, many of which are indoor venues,” the athletics governing body said in a statement.

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