The annual marathon sporting event in Tokyo, Tokyo Marathon, has been canceled this year for 38,000 runners by the organizers on fears of the spread of the coronavirus. The Tokyo Marathon Foundation said in a statement, “We reached the conclusion that unfortunately, it is difficult to organize the event… after several cases (of the virus) were confirmed in Tokyo.”
The organizers further stated that the move would not affect elite runners, including wheelchair participants. The participants were asked by the organizers not to take part in the marathon. Ther marathon is the World Athletics Platinum Label marathon and one of the six World Marathon Majors. Last year the marathon took place on 3 March 2019.
The latest announcement by the authorities comes Japanese government officials warned of the spread of the virus in the country entering “a new phase.” Japan has recorded 65 cases related to the deadly virus, excluding hundreds of infections abroad, a cruise ship quarantined off the coast.
Several participants have expressed their disappointment over the decision. A health minister on Sunday warned the citizens to avoid large crowds and non-essential gatherings, sparking speculation that the marathon would be canceled.