© Copyright – 2019 – Athletics Illustrated

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) made it official that the distance road events, the marathon and racewalk will take place in Sapporo not Tokyo during the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games.

Sapporo is located 800-kilometres north of Tokyo on the island of Hokkaido.

An agreement was reached during a four-party meeting. The Tokyo 2020 Society will apparently not incur any costs for the move. It wasn’t apparent if Tokyo will be compensated for any potential losses.

The meeting took place between the Tokyo Metropolitan Government (TMG), IOC and Tokyo 2020 as well as the Japanese federal government on Friday, Nov. 1.

There was a four-point agreement laid out:

  1. The authority to change an Olympic venue belongs to the IOC.

2. TMG will not be asked to bear costs to be incurred now that the venues are in Sapporo. Expenses that have already been made by the TMG and Tokyo 2020 for the marathon and racewalks will be examined. (It was unconfirmed if anything will be done about it).

3. Expenses that the TMG cannot use for other purposes will not be paid by the TMG.

4. There will be no further venue changes made for the Olympic Games by the IOC.

Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike said that the IOC decision was “an unprecedented act” earlier this week.

Koike, recognising that road racing is very popular in Japan, he remained critical of the process.

“If these events were held in Tokyo it would have been the best idea,” he said. “I have no change in that basic concept.”

“We cannot agree with the decision of the IOC, we will not obstruct the move, but let us say, this is a decision without agreement.”

Considering the weight of the financial investment and the incredible amount of work done by a host city, the IOC could have been more gracious in their approach.