Japan Marathon Officials Criticize Move To Sapporo

Japan marathon officials criticize move to Sapporo

Japanese officials in charge of marathon and race walking have criticized the move of these events to the northern city of Sapporo for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

The decision was made last week by the International Olympic Committee, the Japanese central government, the Tokyo metropolitan government and the games' organizing committee, out of concerns about Tokyo's summer heat.

At a news conference on Tuesday, officials of the Japan Association of Athletics Federations expressed their disappointment.

Director of development Kazunori Asaba said athletes, coaches, and staff have been preparing for up to five years. He called the decision very regrettable.

But project leader for marathon training and strategy Toshihiko Seko said runner Yuma Hattori told him he is happy to run in Sapporo.

Seko stressed that training so far to prepare for the heat won't be wasted. He added that the federation's officials will be united around the goal of winning medals in Sapporo.

Seko himself was unable to take part in the 1980 Moscow Olympics, which Japan boycotted.