File: Runners pass Shiba Park as they compete in the Tokyo Marathon in 2020. AFP/Philip Fong
TOKYO - The Tokyo marathon has been postponed to March next year, with organisers blaming Covid-19 and ongoing restrictions in the Japanese capital.
Japan has seen the number of infections decline following a record spike last month, which prompted the government to expand and extended virus restrictions, despite the national vaccination programme ramping up.
"The Tokyo Marathon 2021 will be postponed to Sunday, 6 March 2022," the Tokyo Marathon Foundation said in a statement, citing "the difficulty to forecast the trend of Covid-19".
The race, originally set to take place earlier this year in March with around 38,000 runners including top athletes participating, had already been postponed to October.
"Even only a month away from the event, Tokyo is still under a state of emergency," organisers said, adding next year's marathon will be cancelled.
The 2020 Tokyo marathon was held in March with a reduced field of around 200 elite runners.
The postponement comes after Formula 1 announced in August the cancellation of October's Japanese Grand Prix for a second year due to the pandemic.