This year’s Tokyo marathon will be restricted to elite athletes only due to the growing spread of the coronavirus within Japan.
A statement on the Tokyo Marathon 2020 website confirmed that the organisers “cannot continue to launch the event within the scale we originally anticipated” due to new cases of the coronavirus in Tokyo.
Organisers had implemented preventative safety measures, but they were not deemed sufficient for the race to go ahead as originally planned.
The 1 March event, in which almost 40,000 people were due to take part, is to be held “only for the marathon elites and the wheelchair elites”.
Other athletes who registered for the race are being allowed to defer their entry to next year’s Tokyo marathon.
The spread of the coronavirus had led many to wonder whether the Olympics could be cancelled altogether, though organisers said last week there are no plans to postpone or cancel the Games.
Additional reporting by PA