Tokyo Marathon organisers restrict event to elite runners only

Organisers of the Tokyo Marathon have announced it will no longer be a mass participation event due to the coronavirus outbreak.

Only elite runners and wheelchair athletes will compete in the event in Japan, which takes place on 1 March.

Around 38,000 runners were expected to take part in the marathon, which is one of the largest in the world.

“We cannot continue to launch the event within the scale we originally anticipated,” said organisers.

The Tokyo Marathon is one of six marathons which make up the World Marathon Majors series, along with London, Berlin, Chicago, New York and Boston.

All registered runners will be able to defer their entry until 2021.

More than 70,500 people across China have been infected by coronavirus, with 1,770 people having died.

More than 400 cases have been confirmed in Japan.

Last week, Tokyo Olympics chief Toshiro Muto said cancelling or postponing the Games – due to take place from 24 July-9 August – because of the coronavirus outbreak “has not been considered”.

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