Tokyo organizers decide to request fans refrain from watching marathon, race walks live

Yomiuri Shimbun file photo
Hokkaido Government Building

Tokyo Olympic organizers decided Tuesday that they will request that fans refrain from lining the streets to watch the Olympic marathons and race walking events to be held in Sapporo.

Officials from the Tokyo Organizing Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games met with their counterparts from the Hokkaido and Sapporo governments to discuss the issue as a means of preventing spread of the novel coronavirus.

On Monday, Hokkaido Gov. Naomichi Suzuki expressed his concerns in a meeting with Hiroshi Sato, vice director general of the organizing committee, of an outbreak in Sapporo being caused by spectators coming from the Tokyo metropolitan area, which is having a resurgence of infections. He asked for the call on people to refrain from watching the races.

The matter of what to do about spectators at the marathons and race walking events was left undecided at the five-way meeting held in June between the organizing committee, the Japanese government, the International Olympic Committee and other concerned parties. It was left up to the organizing committee to work out the issue in consultation with the local governments.