Tokyo, Sep 18 (EFE).- The organizers of the Tokyo Marathon have postponed this year’s edition of the event to March 2022 because of the surge in Covid-19 cases fueled by the highly infectious Delta variant of the virus.
“We have decided to postpone the Tokyo Marathon 2021 to Mar.6 (Sunday) of the next year,” the Tokyo Marathon Foundation said in a statement, announcing its decision finalized by the board of directors on Friday night.
The decision effectively led to the cancellation of the 2022 edition of the event.
“It is difficult to determine whether we can deliver a safe and secure event with the current circumstance of the health services. Travel and many more restrictions are expected to continue,” the foundation said.
On the other hand, the vaccination rate continues to rise, and the government has announced that by the year-end, they plan to ease restrictions by utilizing vaccination passports. It is also very positive that large-scale events are gradually opening in the USA and Europe, giving us a hopeful impression.
It said the “difficult decision” to postpone the Oct.17 event was taken after “careful consideration on how (it) will affect the community.”
The foundation responsible for the sporting event had earlier said the marathon would not take place if a state of emergency remained in effect a month before the scheduled date.
“Since July, outbreak continues to rise due to Delta variant, and medical services are under increasing pressure. Though it is just a month away from the event, the disease continues to spread, and the state of emergency for Tokyo has been extended to Sep 30.”
The foundation said it did not want to waste the “tremendous effort of our runners” who trained in the time of Covid-19, and the hard work of all personnel involved in the event.
It said all runners who have an entry to the Tokyo Marathon 2022 would receive “further details and available options, leaving it ambiguous, at the moment, whether that means reimbursement or participation in a future Tokyo Marathon.
The organizers plan to maintain in 2022 the number of runners 25,000 they had for this year.
In 2020, the Tokyo Marathon was held with participation restricted to elite runners and on unusually empty streets at the beginning of the pandemic. EFE