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16 April 2021, 2pm

10km with 2500 amateur runners dropped – elite run to go ahead

No mass race at Olympic test event

by Brett Larner

Sapporo

An official decision to cancel the mass-participation 10km race – planned to take place 5 May in Sapporo, Hokkaido as part of the Sapporo Marathon Festival Olympic test event is expected soon.

The half marathon Olympic test event, a half marathon on the Olympic Marathon course with around 160 elite participants, is still scheduled to go ahead. 2500 amateur runners had been entered in the 10km, which covered one lap of the 10km northern half of the course for this summer’s Olympic marathon.

In response to the increasing numbers of cases of infection with variants of the coronavirus, city and prefectural officials have extended their policy of asking residents of Sapporo to refrain from going out unnecessarily and from traveling to and from other area until 14 May. As the Sapporo Marathon Festival’s date fell within this period, the decision was made to cancel the mass-participation race.

Last week student leaders at Hokkaido University also delivered a petition with 7000 signatures to the university protesting the administration’s decision to ban all student athletes from competing anywhere while at the same time allowing the Sapporo Marathon Festival mass-participation race to run through the university’s campus.

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