Ioc Meeting Underway Over Olympic Marathon

IOC meeting underway over Olympic marathon

An International Olympic Committee meeting is underway to discuss whether to move the 2020 Games' marathon and race walking events from Tokyo to Sapporo in northern Japan.

The 3-day meeting kicked off in Tokyo on Wednesday, with officials from the IOC, Tokyo Metropolitan and central governments and the 2020 Games' organizing committee in attendance.

A plan to move the events to Sapporo, which has a cooler climate than Tokyo, was put forth earlier this month by the IOC.

The IOC says it wants to avoid a repeat of what happened at the world track and field championship in Doha, Qatar, where many athletes failed to cross the finish line due to intense heat.

The head of the IOC coordination commission, John Coates, has affirmed that the IOC has already decided on the change and has no intention of reversing that decision. Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike wants the events held in the capital.

With less than nine months to go until the Tokyo Olympics, the Games' organizing committee is studying how it would lay out the marathon route if the event were to be held in Sapporo.

Under an IOC plan, the course would start and finish at a domed baseball stadium in the city. But organizing committee officials say the stadium doesn't have enough space and that there would be some difficulties renting it next year.

The officials see locating the start and finish line in a park in the city center as more feasible.