Association of International Marathons and Distance Races

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06 May 2021, 3pm

Elite runners praise covid measures

Sapporo test event reaction

by Brett Larner

International athletes who competed in the Tokyo Olympics test event half marathon in Sapporo on 5 May gave high marks to the event's coronavirus protocols.

Dutch athlete Bart Van Nunen said, “The measures against COVID-19 were perfect. I didn’t feel there were any problems.” International athletes were not allowed to go out in public or use public transportation and were required to eat in their hotel rooms. “I felt that this just showed the kind of measures they were taking,” said Van Nunen.

Men’s winner Hillary Kipkoech of Kenya commented, “It was very tough with the strong wind, but the course itself was excellent.”

Translator’s note: In contrast to the athlete comments here, a story published on Saturday by Inside the Games on COVID-19 countermeasures at Olympic test events this week, which for whatever reason didn’t mention the marathon test event, selected only negative quotes from athletes, who were quoted as complaining about not being allowed to hang out with others, go sightseeing, or go out eating.


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