Tokyo 2020 organizers propose dawn marathon start to avoid extreme heat
Tokyo, Dec 5: The International Olympic Committee (IOC) and the organizing committee of Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games said on Wednesday that they are considering bringing forward the start of the marathon competition to 5:30 or 6 am to avoid the intense heat expected during the tournament.
The measure was proposed by a committee of experts appointed by the IOC and the Tokyo 2020 organizers and discussed during meetings held between the two sides recently in Tokyo, Joan Coates, head of the Tokyo 2020 Coordination Commission, said at a press conference in the capital, reports Efe news.
The planned change in the timing of the race would be to avoid scorching midday temperatures, expected to reach between 39-41 degrees Celsius during the Games which will be held between July 24 – August 9, 2020.
Coates said the proposal had been backed by experts in sports medicine and meteorology and the Tokyo Metropolitan Government, after analyzing logistical requirements, such as the availability of public transport during the early hours.
The IOC and the organizing committee are in discussions with the International Association of Athletics Federations to approve the change in start time from 7 am, and a final discussion is expected before the end of the year.
Yoshiro Mori, president of the organizing committee, told reporters that earlier starts were also being discussed for the 50-kilometer race walk, rugby matches and cycling competitions.