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The 2020 Tokyo Marathon taking place Sunday, March 1 has been cancelled for the general public due to the threat of the coronavirus. The Tokyo Shimbun newspaper reported this today.

There were approximately 38,000 non-elite runners expected to toe-the-line in Japan’s largest city and home of the 2020 Olympic Games.

Tokyo offers the largest mass participation race in all of Asia.

Approximately 200 elite runners will race the event, which happens to double as the Japanese Olympic Marathon Trials.

The marathon organising committee had assembled a committee in January to consider the safety of the city and prevent further spread of the virus.

Participants were advised that they will automatically qualify for the 2021 edition, while specifically Chinese athletes were told starting on Friday to defer their race plans for a year.

So far, the coronavirus outbreak has caused the 2020 Olympic boxing qualifying tournament to move to Amman, Jordan. Women’s soccer qualifying was moved from Wuhan, China, the epicentre of the outbreak to Australia and several other events have been cancelled, moved or postponed.

The precautionary measures are put in place to mitigate the feared risks with the spread of the virus. The Olympic Games start on July 24. Two-hundred nations and over 11,000 athletes will converge on Tokyo for the games.