In a bid to avoid the heat and humidity of Japan's capital, the men's marathon at the Tokyo Olympics will be held early morning in Sapporo on the northern island of Hokkaido. The Tokyo Opympics's marathons and walk race will start and finish at Odori Park in Sapporo. In the past, the same park was used as the venue for the Hokkaido Marathon.
According to Kirsty Coventry, Chair of the International Olympic Committee's Athletes' Commission, the decision to move the venue of the marathon to Sapporo was due to their concerns for the athletes' health and well-being. The Tokyo officials were worried about the extreme heat in the capital and decided to move the events 800 kilometres away to Sapporo. According to local media, in the marathon course that has been proposed the athletes will run a 20-kilometre route twice. There are major landmarks along the route such as Sapporo TV Tower, Sapporo Station, and the Sapporo Campus of Hokkaido University.
With only months to go till the Olympics, this late change in venue of the races has drawn widespread criticism from Japan.
The schedules for the races are: August 6 for the Men's 20-kilometre race walk while August 7 will see both the Men's 50-kilometre race walk as well the women's 20-kilometre race walk. Both races will start an hour apart from one another. The last two days of the games will see the Women's and Men's marathon on August 8 and 9 respectively.
Recently the Indian Army extended help to the Japanese Army in a joint operation where both sides practised their military skills in hypothetical situations at counter-terrorism operations and prepared to tackle any challenge that could likely come their way during the Tokyo Olympics 2020. The joint exercise between the two armies was called 'Dharma Guardian-2' and was held in Vairangate, Mizoram and Silchar, Assam in October this year.