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According to Tokyo Shimbun, Tokyo Marathon which is scheduled on 1 March 2020 has decided to cancel the entries from the general public which will affect around 38,000 runners, on fears about the spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.

However, the decision will not affect the 200 over elite runners, including elite wheelchair participants, who registered for the upcoming marathon, the organisers said.

General runners selected for this year’s race will automatically be eligible for the 2021 event, but will need to pay a separate entry fee. Entry fees for this year will not be refunded.

The Tokyo Marathon doubles as a qualifier for the 2020 Games, and runners will be chasing the final spot on the men’s Olympic marathon team. Japan men’s marathon record holder Suguru Osako and past national record holder Yuta Shitara are among invitees to the race’s elite category.

With the 2020 Summer Games less than six months away, Tokyo Olympic officials have voiced concerns about how the fast-spreading virus could disrupt the games, which are scheduled from 24 July through 9 August.

The chaos caused by the coronavirus outbreak has already resulted in a host of sporting events being canceled or rescheduled in China and Japan, but 2020 Games head Yoshiro Mori said last Thursday canceling the Olympics “has not been considered.

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