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The Athens 2004 Olympic gold medallist, Mizuki Noguchi was heavily favored for the honor and her involvement was confirmed by organisers.
She will take the flame from a Greek runner after its traditional lighting at Ancient Olympia on March 12.
Judoka Tadahiro Nomura and wrestler Saori Yoshida, who have both won three Olympic gold medals for Japan, will also carry the Torch in Greece.
"I am very grateful to be a Torchbearer in Greece, which is a special place to me," said Noguchi.
"I am also happy and thankful for this opportunity given to me.
"It will have been 16 years since I first visited Greece for the Olympic Games Athens 2004.
"Appreciating the value of the Olympic Torch Relay, I will pass on the flame with my great memory from Athens 2004 and my hopes for the coming Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games."(11/18/2019) ⚡AMP
Fifty-six years after having organized the Olympic Games, the Japanese capital will be hosting a Summer edition for the second time, from July 24 to August 9, 2020. The Games in 1964 radically transformed the country. According to the organizers of the event in 2020, the Games of the XXXII Olympiad of the modern era will be “the most innovative...more...
Not too long ago, professional athletes rarely produced world-class results after they passed their mid-thirties and ventured into their forties. Today, however, athletes like Roger Federer and Serena Williams (both 38 years old), Tom Brady (42) and Tiger Woods (43) are proving that age is just a number, each continuing to find success in their sports.
American Bernard Lagat and Chris Brown of the Bahamas are also looking to prove they’ve still got what it takes to compete with the world’s best, with both men recently announcing they will attempt to qualify for their sixth Olympic team each.
Chris Brown, a 400m runner, is 41 years old. He has competed at each Summer Games since Sydney in 2000, where he picked up a bronze medal in the 4 x 400m relay with the Bahamian team. The Athens Games were the only ones from which Brown has returned home without a medal. He and his teammates added three more in the 4 x 400m after Sydney, winning gold in London, silver in Beijing and another bronze in Rio.
He currently coaches the Clayton State University track team in Georgia. His bio on the Clayton State track page reads that he joined the team “following a tremendous international career,” but Brown announced that he isn’t quite finished on the world stage.
Brown told the Bahamian paper the Nassau Guardian that although he took a year off of competing since joining the Clayton State staff, he hasn’t stopped training.
“My body is still active and ready to compete at any minute now,” he said. “I just try and maintain and keep my body consistent with what it has been doing.”
From the 2008 to the 2016 Olympics, Lagat competed in the 5,000m. His focus is now on the marathon, a distance which he has only raced twice. His first shot at 42K was at the New York City Marathon in 2018, where he ran a 2:17:20. In July 2019, he travelled to Australia and set an American masters record of 2:12:10 at the Gold Coast Marathon.
Lagat will be at the US Olympic Trials in Atlanta on February 29 to book his ticket for the 2020 Olympic marathon. If he makes the team, he’ll be 45 years old at the start line in Sapporo.
Brown isn’t just looking for a fun, lighthearted Olympic finale–he wants to help the Bahamian team to continue their success in the 4 x 400m. If Brown makes the team, he could be running with Steven Gardiner, a fellow Bahamian who won the 400m world championship a month ago in Doha, who would be a huge addition to the already stellar cast of previous 400m runners from the Bahamas.
Bernard Lagat Like Brown, the 44-year-old Lagat has competed on the track of each Summer Olympics since 2000. Lagat won a medal in his first two Olympic appearances, taking a bronze in 2000 and silver in 2004, both in the 1,500m. At that time, he was competing for Kenya, where he was born and raised. In 2005, however, Lagat became an American citizen, and he has represented the U.S. ever since.(11/13/2019) ⚡AMP
Fifty-six years after having organized the Olympic Games, the Japanese capital will be hosting a Summer edition for the second time, from July 24 to August 9, 2020. The Games in 1964 radically transformed the country. According to the organizers of the event in 2020, the Games of the XXXII Olympiad of the modern era will be “the most innovative...more...
The clash between the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and the Tokyo Metropolitan Government (TMG) over the marathon and race walk move to Sapporo played out last week as if it were scripted.
IOC Coordination Commission chair John Coates came cast as peacemaker. The Australian showered the TMG and Tokyo 2020 with praise for their preparations, while lauding the achievements of the Japanese team and organisers at the Rugby World Cup.
Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike performed impressively in her role, defending locals against foreign influence and insisting she would not pay for the mess created by the IOC. A victory on both counts.
The decision to move the events to Sapporo was never going to change. Even if the TMG had the option to keep the races, it would have been a risk to overrule the IOC’s warnings about heat on the off chance a major incident occurred involving an athlete.
The decision is a sad one, with Tokyo missing out on the opportunity to showcase the city’s landmarks to a worldwide audience and offer the residents of the capital city the chance to watch one of Japan’s favoured events for free.
Maybe, the IOC decision is the right one. Even if we set aside previous Olympic marathon and race walks being held under similar conditions, and the fact the IOC did not rush to protect the health of athletes when a year before Rio 2016 sailors and rowers were falling ill amid the pollution of Guanabara Bay.
If we take the view of Canadian race walker Evan Dunfee - one I share - that the IOC took the decision to protect their brand and avoid negative press, it could still be a fair reason to move the events.
Would it be a good thing for the sport of athletics to see athletes wheeled away from a course requiring medical attention, as they were at the World Championships in Doha, even if they are ultimately okay? Sure, athletes will push beyond their limits anyway, but it seems reasonable to try to mitigate risks.
It was suggested here that the looped course in Doha made it easier for athletes to receive medical support. Where the city circuit touring the sights of Tokyo would see resources more spread out.
The five Ps of "proper preparation preventing poor performance" apply here, with athletes having the responsibility to tailor their training to the conditions. But, equally, organisers could not respond by saying an athlete should have prepared better if something went awry.
A key question is whether the IOC should be the ones making this call, rather than an International Federation or medical experts.
There is little doubt, though, that the IOC has handled this badly.
Managing to annoy athletes, politicians and residents of a city at the same time is impressive - even for the IOC.
This is problematic for the IOC in both the short and long-term.
The most pressing issue is that there is no course in Sapporo yet for either the marathon and race walks, while financing remains unclear.
Athletes and National Olympic Committees will be required to adapt plans, which is likely to see additional support staff required to be brought to Sapporo, with the associated costs involved.
Currently, there is no concrete plan as to who picks up the cost of the move, other than knowing that the Tokyo Government will not be doing so. I wonder whether Sapporo’s hopes of the hosting the Winter Olympics in 2030 could enjoy a boost should they bail the IOC out of a hole here.
The IOC has agreed to examine and verify the money already spent by the TMG on heat countermeasures, such as special paving. Although the IOC has promised it will not walk away from obligations, there appeared to be a suggestion the Paralympic and proposed "Olympic Celebration Marathon" could be used to say Tokyo has received a legacy for their investment.
The TMG’s anger at the lack of consultation may just be a short-term issue. A sympathetic view is that the IOC realised the only way to force the switch to Sapporo was the take extreme action and give Tokyo no choice but to conform, given they knew organisers would fight tooth and nail otherwise.
The IOC may have decided it is better to take the heat now than at Games time - excuse the pun. The decision could yet leave them marinating in their own words for some time to come, given what it exposes about the IOC’s relationship with host cities.
If we rewind little over a year, the IOC dispatched Olympic Games executive director Christophe Dubi to Calgary to convince locals to support their 2026 Winter bid. The visit came at a time when the Winter Olympic bid race appeared to be threatening to collapse completely, with anti-Olympics campaigners driving the message that the IOC cannot be trusted.
I wrote at the time that Dubi had delivered a strong display for the IOC, where he fronted up on previous mistakes and insisted changes had been made. The message was clear: the IOC will act as a partner with host cities and work the Games concept around them.
"What has changed in the IOC from 2014 is our approach to the way we do the bidding, organise the Games and manage legacies," he said. "It is all about partnership, it is all about flexibility and finding the right solution for the hosts.
"The Games cannot impose to a city anymore; the Games adapt to a city.
"It means over the last two years, we had to look at our Host City Contract, every single article to make sure that flexibility is reflected in every single article. Every requirement has to live to local creativity to play.
"We do not have the final solution, we have local solutions."
It is hard to reconcile these words with this latest decision taken by the IOC.
Is taking a unilateral decision without consulting the host city really acting in partnership with them? Is taking free events from a host against their will not the IOC imposing its will on city? Is moving an event 800 kilometres from the host city really a local solution?
When asked about whether the decision was the IOC dictating to a host city, Coates suggested the Sapporo switch did not clash with their rhetoric.
"We have a Host City Contract and the Olympic Charter leaves a clear authority for the IOC to take decisions like this where it is necessary," he said. "I do not think that is at odds with the Agenda 2020 reforms in terms of flexibility.
"If you suddenly become aware of something, you have got to have the right to respond to that, as has happened here where we have had to act very quickly because of the experience of Doha."
While Coates and the IOC might believe that, the past couple of weeks will serve as evidence for critics that the leopard has not changed its spots.
The IOC claim they are a joint party with a host city, but their actions suggest that these are our Games, not yours.
After all, an Organising Committee repeatedly hailed as being the best prepared in Olympic history has been rewarded by being left scrambling for the past two weeks, unable to provide answers to a scenario they did not create.
Anti-Olympics campaigners will point to one of Japan’s most powerful politicians being overruled about a decision in her own city. Koike’s own quotes will be used as warnings for future hosts.
"We are receiving angry opinions about what being a host city really implies," she said earlier this week. "We consider it an unprecedented turn of events for the IOC to take such a proposal with no consultation or discussion with the host city beforehand."
The IOC may be right to move the marathon and race walk events.
However, I wonder whether their handling of the switch will have a wider impact than the decision itself.(11/10/2019) ⚡AMP
Fifty-six years after having organized the Olympic Games, the Japanese capital will be hosting a Summer edition for the second time, from July 24 to August 9, 2020. The Games in 1964 radically transformed the country. According to the organizers of the event in 2020, the Games of the XXXII Olympiad of the modern era will be “the most innovative...more...
The National Olympic Committee of Kenya is backing IOC's decision to move the marathon and any other event out of Tokyo during the 2020 Olympic Games.
Nock acting secretary-general, Francis Mutuku, said the International Olympic Committee had explained to all NOCs a few weeks ago during the General Assembly why it is necessary to move the marathon and walking races.
" Our athletes were really affected by the high levels of heat and humidity at the recent World Championships in Doha and we are not ready to take a similar route in Tokyo 2020," he said.
He said they expect a worse situation in Tokyo and it is important that they take precautions.
“The IOC explained that the interest of the athletes is paramount and if it requires a sport to be moved from the host City to achieve that, they will consider that. Kenya is big in marathon running and we want our athletes to compete in the best conditions," said Mutuku.
He added: “Nock is therefore supportive of IOC's decision and not just for the marathon, but also any other sport that may be required to be shifted.”(11/05/2019) ⚡AMP
It was recently learned that based on the premise of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics marathons and race walks being moved to Sapporo as a safeguard against hot temperatures, the IAAF and other involved parties have proposed two plans to compress the five events into three days.
Both plans call for the men's and women's marathons to be held the same day. In the first plan the men's and women's 20 km race walks would be held Aug. 7, with the men's 50 km race walk held Aug. 8. Originally scheduled for Aug. 2, the women's marathon would be held the same day as the men's marathon on Aug. 9.
In the second plan, the five events would be held either July 27 to 29 or 28 to 30. The men's and women's marathons would be held the same day, but which day they would be held has not been specified. Under this plan the road events would take place prior to the start of track and field competition at Tokyo's new Olympic Stadium on July 31, making it possible to avoid having athletics events happening in Tokyo and Sapporo simultaneously.
The IAAF has asked participating national and regional federations to express their preference between the two proposals by Oct. 31.(11/01/2019) ⚡AMP
Aiyabei, who is a former Beijing Marathon champion, has thrown her hat in the ring and is seeking to conquer any of the six World Marathon Majors (WMM) course in 2020 alongside making it to the Kenya team for the Tokyo Olympic Games.
The 28-year-old ran the fifth-fastest women's marathon time in Frankfurt last Sunday after recording 2:19:10 to break the previous course record of 2:20:36 set by Ethiopia's Meskerem Assefa in 2018.
"I know I can run faster. I now target the women's record of Keitany, which was set two years ago in London. Then maybe I can start dreaming of challenging Brigid Kosgei's women's marathon record," Aiyabei said on Thursday in Nairobi after arriving from Frankfurt.
It has taken over a decade for Kosgei to break the women's all-time world record of 2:15:25 set by Paula Radcliffe in London back in 2003. Kosgei clocked 2:14:01 to break the 16-year-old mark.
"My plan is to break the record in any of the World Marathon Majors. I will plan with my coaches to see which race is convenient for me and my mission," Aiyabei added.
New York, Berlin, Tokyo, Chicago, Boston, and London races form the WRR series with the Olympics and World Championships being part of the circuit.
But Aiyabei hopes her performance in Frankfurt will open doors for her to secure a call to run in either Tokyo, Boston or London in April.
"That record can be broken. But it's rather safe to start with the women's only record and then push for Kosgei's mark later. It all depends on one's mental strength, psyche and how you train. I have a dream to lower Kosgei's record and I believe with God's blessings, it will come to pass," added Aiyabei.
Already Kosgei has called out on sponsors to fund her training to try and make history, similar way Olympic Champion Eliud Kipchoge did in Vienna with the INEOS 1:59 Challenge.
"I believe women can run below two hours and ten minutes," said Kosgei. "I can run faster than the time I set in Chicago."
That spirit has also given Aiyabei the belief she can control her own destiny and push herself to break the world record.
"Kosgei's feat was very inspiring and I have decided to emulate her and make another step in my career," she said.(10/31/2019) ⚡AMP
The abrupt decision to shift the marathons and race walks was announced almost two weeks ago by the IOC. Made without consulting the city or local organizers — to move next year’s Tokyo Olympic marathons 800 kilometers (500 miles) north to Sapporo to avoid the capital’s summer heat.
Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike is angry about it. Her allies say no change is needed and have raised questions about who will pay if the move goes through, and have not ruled out a lawsuit to recover damages.
Taro Shirato and Hiroshi Yamada, members of Koike’s political party in the metropolitan legislature, told a news conference Tuesday that moving the marathon would cost at least $34 billion yen (about $310 million).
The IOC said it is making the change, thinking first of athletes’ safety from Tokyo’s blistering summer heat.
Koike’s allies offered a different take. Koike is one of Japan’s most influential politicians and just a few years ago was viewed as a potential candidate for prime minister. And she’s miffed about not being consulted.
“Although they (IOC) talk about so-called athletes first, this can only be perceived as IOC first,” Shirato said through an interpreter.
“You get the sense that no considerations have been made for the athletes,” Shirato added, “or the spectators who had already bought their tickets and who were looking forward to these events, or the potential spectators who will be cheering on the streets, and also to the people involved in the operation.”
In a statement to The Associated Press, the Tokyo city government said it wants to see “sufficient scientific evidence” to justify the switch. It also asked if any other city was considered besides Sapporo.
Don’t expect the IOC to budge. It has inspectors in Tokyo this week looking at preparations with the Olympics opening in just under nine months on July 24.
IOC member John Coates heads the team and is an ally to President Thomas Bach. He has said repeatedly the IOC does not intend to change its plans, and has told that to Koike.
The IOC fears worldwide television audiences might see a repeat of the recent world track and field championships in Doha, Qatar, where 28 of 68 starters failed to finish the women’s marathon and 18 of 73 men failed to complete the course.
The races started at midnight in Doha with TV showing runners collapsing on the course. The scenes apparently shocked IOC President Thomas Bach.
Yamada acknowledged the heat posed a risk. He said Tokyo has proposed moving the start to 5 a.m., which is mid-summer sunrise in Tokyo. Last week city officials also floated the idea of a 3 a.m. start.
Estimates suggest the temperature would be 27 degrees C (81 degrees F) at 5 a.m., and would be 25.4 degrees C (78 degrees F) in Sapporo for a 7 a.m. start. The starting temperature in Doha for the women’s marathon was 32.7 degrees C (91 degrees F).
Yamada described the starting temperatures in Tokyo and Sapporo “on a par.”
“We do recognize and understand that the heat is a very important factor, but we do not believe that at this moment it represents an overly excessive risk,” Yamada said.
Tokyo’s soaring costs are also a major issue.
A government audit report last year said Tokyo was spending about $25 billion to organize the Olympics, all of which is public money except for $5.6 billion from a privately financed operating budget.
Tokyo said in its bid in 2013 that the Olympic would cost $7.3 billion.
Yamada was asked who would pay for the increased costs.
“In the event this is changed to Sapporo, then I believe the citizens of Tokyo will not be convinced they need to pay,” Yamada said. “What I can say is that the Tokyo Metropolitan Government should not be the one to pay.”
Asked if the Tokyo government might sue for damages, Yamada hedged.(10/30/2019) ⚡AMP
Diver finished 21st in the marathon in Beijing and followed it up with 20th at the IAAF World Championships London 2017. Since making her breakthrough into world class territory with a clocking of 2:25:19 at last year’s Melbourne Marathon, she has joined the Melbourne Track Club coached by Nick Bideau, parting ways with her long-time coach Tim Crosbie.
“I got a great base with Tim and the ‘Crosbie Crew’ but moving to Nick has helped me take the next step in my running career. I’ve moved to the next level and my training has changed quite a bit. I’m now training in a group of elite athletes and being around them has made a massive difference to my running. I’m really glad I made the move.”
The switch has paid dividends with Diver, finishing an impressive seventh at this year’s London Marathon in 2:24:11, securing qualification for next year’s Tokyo Olympics. She followed it up with 14th in the 10,000m at the IAAF World Championships Doha 2019 with 31:25.49, just half a second outside the automatic Olympic qualification standard.
“The London Marathon was brilliant. I went there aiming for 2:23 but unfortunately it was a bit windy. I led the race for half of it which was unexpected and was a bit of fun. I really loved the experience.”
With Olympic qualification secured, Diver will look to place highly in New York on Sunday, rather than focus on bettering her PB.
“New York will be hilly and I prefer flat courses, but the experience of just racing for placing will be great practice leading into Tokyo. To get the opportunity to run in that calibre of field in New York is really special.”
New York will likely be the 42-year-old’s last marathon before the Olympics. Having missed out on Rio 2016 due to a knee injury caused by the cuboid bone in her foot, competing in Tokyo will be extra special for Diver.
“Missing out on Rio was really hard to stomach, so to compete in Tokyo would be a dream come true. The Olympics is the pinnacle of sport. It would be amazing to be part of it.”
Now aged 42 and showing no signs of slowing down, Diver believes it’s never too late to take up a sport for the first time and that people should ignore those who say it’s not possible to excel at a mature age.
“If you feel good enough to do it then give it a go. Nobody else can tell you what your body is capable of. There is nothing to suggest that when you turn 40 you need to fall apart. It hasn’t happened for me and I feel fitter than I was ten years ago.
“If I can do it then I can’t see why other people can’t do it too.”(10/30/2019) ⚡AMP
Tokyo, host of the 2020 Olympic Games, is considering proposing to start the marathon and race walking events as early as 3:00 a.m. to counter an IOC decision to move the races to Sapporo due to worries about heat, Kyodo news agency said on Thursday.
The International Olympic Committee (IOC) this month announced a plan to move the marathon and race walking to Sapporo, on Japan’s northern island of Hokkaido, from originally planned courses in the capital.
Kyodo, citing unnamed sources, said Tokyo is looking into an alternative plan to have the races start at 3 a.m. or 5 a.m. to keep them in the city.
An official at the Tokyo metropolitan government’s Olympic preparation bureau told Reuters he was not aware of such a plan.
Yoshiro Mori, the president of Tokyo 2020 Olympics, said the city had little choice but to accept the IOC plan, but Tokyo governor Yuriko Koike believes the races should be held in Tokyo.
“We have made many preparations and there’s no change in my thinking that it should be held in Tokyo,” she told reporters last week.(10/26/2019) ⚡AMP
The International Olympic Committee has announced that the men’s and women’s marathons and race walking events will be moved from Tokyo to Sapporo, a distance of some 800 kilometers, due to the extreme heat and humidity conditions expected in the Japanese capital next summer.
Sapporo, the capital city of the northern Hokkaiden Prefecture, hosted the Winter Games in 1972. The weather in July and August, when the 2020 Olympics will be held, is likely to be warm (averaging 26 C), but five or six degrees cooler than Tokyo and significantly less humid.
Athletes and others have been sounding the alarm about Tokyo’s heat and the possible danger to athletes for some time, and in turn, the IOC Medical and Scientific Commission Adverse Weather Impact Expert Working Group has a number of measures in place to mitigate the effects of extreme heat, which include scheduling track events of 5,000m and longer in the evening rather than the morning, and scheduling the marathon and race walk events at 6:00 a.m.
Heat countermeasures will be high on the agenda of the IOC Co-ordination Commission for Tokyo 2020’s upcoming meeting in Tokyo from October 30 to November 1. They will also consider the results of a heat countermeasure questionnaire distributed to each international federation.
With Sapporo being so remote from Tokyo, the decision has an impact on the logistics of transporting and housing athletes, officials and spectators.
The decision comes on the heels of the IAAF World Championships in Doha, Qatar, where numerous athletes dropped out of the women’s marathon due to extreme heat and humidity.
Team Canada is particularly adept at embracing measures to counteract the effects of heat, with athletes doing heat acclimation, pre-cooling, taking full advantage of measures designed to keep them cool on the course, and being conservative about pace. As a result, Evan Dunfee won a bronze medal in the 50K race walk in Doha, and Lyndsay Tessier finished in the top 10 of the women’s marathon.
Tokyo is currently digging out after what experts are calling the worst typhoon in 60 years.(10/16/2019) ⚡AMP
Vladimir Putin says Russia wants to leave its doping "shortcomings" in the past, even as it faces questions regarding data tampering.
The Russian president tells a televised sports conference that his country is complying with the World Anti-Doping Agency "to the fullest extent."
Russia met the October 9 deadline for responding to questions regarding “inconsistencies” in the data WADA investigators retrieved from a Moscow laboratory in January as part of a massive doping investigation.
The agency said its Intelligence and Investigations Team and independent forensic experts will analyze Russia’s response, adding that “no fixed timeline can be set for this” but that WADA is pursuing the matter “robustly and as quickly as practicable.”
Russia faces the prospect of being banned from next year’s Olympics in Tokyo after the World Anti-Doping Agency gave it three weeks to explain apparent inconsistencies in data from its Moscow laboratory or to suffer the consequences.
Sources close to the situation believe there is now a strong possibility Russia will be banned from the Olympic Games and it is not inconceivable such a punishment could also extend to competitions in any sport signed up to Wada’s code, including the football World Cup.
Stanislav Pozdnyakov, the president of Russia’s Olympic Committee, admitted the situation was “very serious” and could jeopardise Russia’s Olympic participation.
WADA lifted its ban on the Russian Anti-Doping Agency in September 2018, much to the anger of the wider global anti-doping community and athlete groups. Critics said the Russians had refused to accept the findings of the McLaren report that concluded its government was involved in a massive doping conspiracy.
Wada said it had to compromise in order to get the data from the Moscow lab, which it had wanted since 2015, in order to build cases against athletes suspected of being involved in a state-sponsored doping programme.
However, Wada’s board was told that investigators had also found inconsistencies between a data set passed to it by a whistleblower in 2017 and the evidence extracted in January.
Jonathan Taylor, chairman of Wada’s committee tasked with overseeing Russia’s compliance, told the New York Times the Russians needed to “pull a rabbit out of a hat” to avoid new penalties. “There were positive findings that were deleted;
The Russian sports minister, Pavel Kolobkov, said the ministry would cooperate with Wada, adding that experts in the field of digital technology would be involved.
The chief executive of the US Anti-Doping Agency, Travis Tygart, who has repeatedly warned that Wada was being played by Russia, said he was unsurprised by the latest news.
“Let’s hope there are no secret backroom deals but that justice is finally served in an open, transparent and public manner,” he said. “The world, and especially clean athletes, have already been yanked around enough already.”(10/13/2019) ⚡AMP
Olympic Channel general manager Mark Parkman has targeted giving fans one of the best digital experiences they have ever seen at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.
The Olympic Channel was launched at the Closing Ceremony of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.
The first full Summer Olympics involving the online platform will be next year's Games in Japan's capital city.
Parkman explained the Olympic Channel is seeking original stories and programmes.
A focus will be on the host nation, with localised content produced for a Japanese audience – this will be used by the Olympic Channel and Tokyo 2020.
"From January of this year through October of 2020, Japan is our most important market," he told Kyodo News.
"We want to be a place where those interested in the games can come and find great stories, great original programming and information.
“We want to collaborate with Tokyo 2020 so that the digital experience for the fans is one of the best they've ever seen."
International Association of Athletics Federations President Sebastian Coe has praised the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games marathon course, after a test event was held in the Japanese capital.
The warm-up races on Sunday (September 15), known as the Marathon Grand Championship, saw Japanese athletes bid to win a spot on the host nation's Olympic team.
Shogo Nakamura and Honami Maeda won the men's and women's races, respectively, and can now look forward to their home Games next year.
Second-place finishers Yuma Hattori and Ayuko Suzuki also qualified.
Runners followed the Olympic route but the start and finish, at Icho Namiki Avenue in Meiji Jingu Gaien Park, was different., as the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Stadium is still under construction.
Athletes passed by Tokyo landmarks including the Thunder Gate, Imperial Palace, Zojoji Temple and Nihombashi Bridge.
The course is mainly flat and similar to the one used at the Tokyo Marathon, part of the World Marathon Majors series.
"The marathon is a growing highlight of the athletics programme, with imaginative courses that show off the best of cities and are challenging for athletes and fan-friendly," said Coe, a double Olympic gold medalist for Britain over 1,500 meters.
"This marathon course highlights the essence of Tokyo – a blend of tradition and modernity."
The heat at the test event reached up to 28 degrees centigrade with a 75 per cent humidity.
Even warmer conditions are expected when the Olympics are held in July and August, a major headache for organizers after dozens of heat-related deaths in Tokyo.
The Olympic marathons start-time has already been moved back to 6am to avoid the hottest parts of the day.
Organizers used the test event to assess issues they may face next year.(09/18/2019) ⚡AMP
With just 10 months until the Tokyo Olympics, organizers are experimenting with various ways to keep spectators cool during what is likely to be a scorching hot and oppressively humid Summer Games.
Along with mist machines and so-called “parasol hats” (essentially an umbrella that sits on your head), organizers recently tested the effectiveness of a snow machine at the Sea Forest Waterway in Tokyo Bay, the venue for the Olympic and Paralympic rowing and canoeing events.
While you might expect to see such a contraption at the Winter Games rather than at its summer equivalent, the organizers were keen to see if it could serve as a way to stop the spectators from overheating.
During the test on Friday, the machine blasted around 300 kg (660 pounds) of fake snow over a crowd of volunteers sitting in the stands.
But it seems that the experiment didn’t quite go according to plan.
“Coarse shards of shaved ice”
For starters, instead of light, fluffy snow-like flakes floating down from the sky, the crowd had to endure what the Japan Times described as “fairly coarse shards of shaved ice.”
It added that with so much fake snow coming down in the space of just a few minutes, many in the crowd were “quickly soaked through,” adding that the “floor became slippery, resulting in one journalist taking a tumble.”
And when they measured the temperature around the stand after the snowfall, they found it to be exactly the same as before.
“We are trying everything possible to ease heat risks,” Taka Okamura, a member of the 2020 organizing committee, told the Times.
“This is not meant to cool the entire atmosphere but have spectators feel refreshed when the flakes of ice touch them,” Okamura clarified, while at the same time admitting that the system needs a little work.
The heat issue is a serious one for the organizers of the Tokyo Olympics, with concerns not only about the well being of spectators, but also the athletes and volunteers. In the space of just one week at the end of July 2019, more than 18,000 people across Japan were hospitalized with suspected heatstroke, with around 60 deaths reported. Last year’s summer was no easier, with the mercury going as high as 105.98F (41.1C) in a city close to Tokyo, though the humidity made it feel even hotter.
Organizers of the 1964 Tokyo Olympics avoided the high temperatures by scheduling it in October, but in recent decades the International Olympic Committee has insisted on summer dates for the Games as this results in the biggest payouts from global broadcasters who regard it as the best time of year in terms of audience potential.(09/16/2019) ⚡AMP
Japan’s selection process for their 2020 Olympic marathon team culminated in victory for Shogo Nakamura and Honami Maeda at the Marathon Grand Championship in Tokyo on Sunday (15).
Japan’s Olympic marathon squad is arguably the toughest national team to make. Several nations may have great depth in one particular area – the US and Jamaica in the sprints and hurdles, Kenya and Ethiopia in the distance events – but for Japan’s MGC there were strict qualifying criteria simply to make it to the start line.
The qualifying window for the MGC opened in August 2017. Anyone who clocked the MGC qualifying standard (2:08:30 for men, 2:24:00 for women) or achieved a sub-2:11/2:28 average for their two fastest marathons in the qualifying window could compete at the MGC. Such was the fierce qualifying battle, the men’s long-standing Japanese record was broken by two different men during the qualifying period.
Forty athletes – 30 men and 10 women – eventually lined up for the MGC. Six of the men in the field had PBs faster than 2:08 while all but two runners in the women’s field had previously bettered 2:25.
And as if the tough qualifying process and competitive line-up wasn’t hard enough, the MGC itself – a marathon in 24-28C heat and 75% humidity – was one final brutal hoop for Japan’s best distance runners to jump through.
Even then, only the top two finishers are guaranteed a spot on Japan’s Olympic team. The third-place finishers are given a provisional place, but if another Japanese man runs 2:05:50 (the Japanese record) or a woman clocks 2:22:23, they can be given the third spot instead.
Fittingly, both races were not short on drama. Yuta Shitara, who broke the Japanese half-marathon record with 1:00:17 in 2017 and followed it with a since-bettered Asian record of 2:06:11 in Tokyo in February 2018, had promised before the race that he was going to set off fast and he stayed true to his word.
The 27-year-old shot into the lead, covering the first 5km in 14:56 and reaching 10km in 29:52. By the time he reached 15 kilometres (44:59), his lead had grown to more than two minutes. Shitara reached the half-way point in 1:03:27 while the four-man chase pack – comprising Kengo Suzuki, Shogo Nakamura, Yuma Hattori and national record-holder Suguru Osako – followed in 1:05:28, showing Shitara’s lead was already starting to dwindle.
The chasing pack grew to seven men at 30km. Shitara continued to lead, but his margin had reduced to 77 seconds. Two more men caught up with the chasers over the next five kilometres, reaching 35km in 1:49:12, and Shitara was now in sight, just 35 seconds in front after covering that five-kilometre section in 16:57.
The inevitable happened two kilometres later as the chase pack breezed past Shitara at the drinks station. With eight men now in contention, Ryo Hashimoto pushed the pace and was followed by Osako, Nakamura and Hattori.
Nakamura was the next to make a move and opened up a few seconds on Hattori and Osako at 40km with Hashimoto dropping back. But with 28 seconds separating the top seven men and little more than two kilometres remaining, the race was far from over. Hattori briefly dropped Osako, but they regrouped moments later and appeared to make up ground on Nakamura. Osako managed to bridge the gap to Nakamura but had nothing left as Nakamura pulled away in the closing stages to win by eight seconds, crossing the line in 2:11:28.
First place may have been decided but the race for Olympic team places wasn’t over. Hattori caught a struggling Osako before the line to take second place in 2:11:36. Osako finished third in 2:11:41. Shohei Otsuka, fourth in 2:11:58, was the only other finisher inside 2:12. Long-time leader Shitara eventually finished 14th in 2:16:09.
The women’s race was effectively decided just before half way when Honami Maeda broke away from the pack.
Eight of the 10 women in the field had passed through 10km in 33:34 and five of them were still together at 15km. Maeda made her move just before 20km, which she passed in 1:07:27, two seconds ahead of two-time world finalist Ayuko Suzuki, who was contesting just her second marathon to date.
A 16:41 split for the next five-kilometre segment was enough to drop the last of Maeda’s pursuers and by 30km her lead had grown to 82 seconds. She continued to pull away from Suzuki over the final quarter of the race and went on to win convincingly in 2:25:15.
Suzuki had a comfortable 33-second margin over Rei Ohara at 40km, but she started to struggle during the last two kilometres. Ohara made up significant ground but couldn’t quite catch Suzuki before the line as Suzuki – the slowest qualifier for the MGC – claimed second place in 2:29:02 with Ohara taking third in 2:29:06. Mizuki Matsuda was fourth in 2:29:51.(09/15/2019) ⚡AMP
Lebogang Phalula believes Tokyo is calling and she knows that Cape Town is her best way to answer.
“Cape Town Marathon is my ticket,” said the one half of South Africa’s famous road running twin sisters.
A good run at the Sanlam Cape Town Marathon on September 15 will help Phalula realise what she believes is every athlete’s dream - Olympic participation.
The IAAF Gold Label marathon also doubles up as the Athletic South Africa Marathon Championships and Phalula, her twin Lebo, and the other local women, need to run a sub-2:30 time to book a spot on Team SA for Tokyo 2020.
“The Olympics is the ultimate in sport. We all dream to participate in and to be part of the Games. I know I want to go to Tokyo next year and my sister also shares the same dream. We want to be part of the marathon team that will represent the country at the Olympics.”
Lebo concurred: “We have been working very hard in training with coach JP (Van der Merwe, the former Olympian) preparing for Sanlam. We hope that everything goes according to plan on race day so we can qualify for the Olympics.”
The time required for the Phalula twins to go to Tokyo will require serious effort on their part in Cape Town.
Lebogang has a 2:38:00 from the 2016 edition while Lebo ran a 2:38:55 in 2015.
They both missed last year’s edition. Lebogang was injured and admits it was hard not being part of those traversing the Mother City in the chase for a medal in Africa’s only Gold Label Status race.
“I did not run it last year because of a calf injury I had. It was not easy to watch on TV because I really wanted to be a part of it But that is all in the past and I am happy now that all is going well, I have no injuries. I am ready to take on the most famous race in Africa.”
Lebo is high on confidence too: “I was in position 14 in Pietermaritzburg (leg of the Spar Grand Prix Series). I am ranked in the 13 position which is not that bad on points for Spar Series. So I have the belief I will do well in Cape Town.”
Lebogang meanwhile says it is a blessing that they can run such a high standard race in their own backyard.
“Opportunities to go overseas and run gold label races like this one or even the majors are very rare. A lot of athletes in Africa do not get that chance. This is one of a kind race for us as African athletes, a gold label status race in our country. So now that the chance is presented to us right here in our home, we need to grab it.”(09/04/2019) ⚡AMP
Christian Coleman, the world's fastest man for the last three years, is fighting for his reputation over an alleged series of missed drugs tests.
Top level sources have told Sportsmail that the 23-year-old American sprinter, who was given a seven-figure sponsorship deal by Nike in 2017 after emerging as the successor to Usain Bolt, is disputing one of three whereabouts failures in the last 12 months.
But if Coleman is unsuccessful in having one of the three strikes cancelled he could face a lengthy ban that not only rules him out of next month's World Championships in Qatar but next year's Olympic Games.
According to the United States Anti-Doping Agency website, 'any cumulation of three Missed Tests or Filing Failures in a 12-month period can result in a potential ADRV and a period of ineligibility of up to two years for a first violation'.
It is understood there are high level ongoing discussions between WADA, USADA and the IAAF's Athletics Integrity Unit about the case, with Coleman's own legal team disputing at least one of the alleged whereabouts violations.
There appears to be an issue because while all tests fall under WADA's Anti-Doping Administration Management System, at least two different testing bodies are thought to be involved.
Coleman, who was beaten to gold at the World Championships in London two years ago by convicted drug cheat Justin Gatlin, is favourite for gold in Qatar and Tokyo next year.
He has already set a new world record over 60m indoors and became the seventh fastest man in history last year when he clocked 9.79 seconds for 100m.
Athletes have proved successful in contesting whereabouts failures in the past. As Sportsmail revealed at the time, British Cyclist Lizzie Deignan - then Armitstead – was facing a ban before the Olympic Games in Rio in 2016 but won a case at the Court of Arbitration for Sport in Switzerland shortly before the Games and had one of her three strikes erased from her record.
USADA, the IAAF and the AIU have declined to comment.(08/24/2019) ⚡AMP
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Gwen Jorgensen knows how to attack a challenge.
The 33-year-old Waukesha native has set her sights on winning the gold medal in the marathon at the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo. She wanted a new goal after winning the triathlon at the 2016 Rio Games.
No American woman has claimed Olympic gold in the marathon since Joan Benoit Samuelson in 1984. Jorgensen is trying to do it two years after giving birth to her son and while dealing with a recent injury setback.
"It’s been an uphill battle, I’d say," Jorgensen said. "But one that I like. One of the reasons I switched sports, I wanted that challenge. I wanted something that keeps me motivated."
She had been bothered by pain in her right foot, especially after finishing 11th in the 2018 Chicago Marathon. Jorgensen was diagnosed with Haglund’s deformity.
"It's basically a bone overgrowth in the heel," she said. "And then every time you take a step, the Achilles and the bursas and everything rub against the bone overgrowth. And it causes pain. It causes damages to those things."
Just putting on socks was excruciating. Jorgensen did everything to avoid surgery, including platelet-rich-plasma therapy, cortisone shots and changing her running form. But she finally went under the knife in May.
“For me that pain is gone, which is so good," Jorgensen said.
It's been a slow and steady comeback since then.
"I’ve been able to run a little bit now," Jorgensen said. "I would love to increase a ton but I’ve put a lot of time and energy into getting healthy and that’s my main goal right now."
She has gotten up to running 40 minutes every other day.
“That probably sounds like a lot for a lot of people," Jorgensen said. "But I’m used to an hour-and-a-half in the morning and an hour at night."(08/19/2019) ⚡AMP
It's coming. 2020 is an Olympic year, with the Games of the XXXII Olympiad taking place in Tokyo. It's time to brush up on your discus technique, become an expert on pictograms and know your pentathlon from your decathlon.
I fell in love with the Olympics in 1992, seeing divers tumble off the high board in front of the spectacular backdrop of Barcelona. When the Games came to my city, London, in 2012, it was one of the best times of my entire life. It's a month-long celebration of strength, agility, speed and fortitude, unimaginable feats of human athletic achievement, spirit and commitment. And then it happens all over again with the Paralympics! Except the athletes are even more inspiring. What a time to be alive.
So start planning your medals parties, order a new national flag and book some vacation for when the diving's on. (Just me? OK.) Here's everything you need to know.
2020 Olympics dates and schedule.. It's less than a year away! The opening ceremony will be on Friday, July 24, and the closing ceremony on Sunday, Aug. 9, 2020. The Paralympics run from Aug. 25 to Sept. 6.
Where are the 2020 Olympics?.- The games will take place in more than 40 venues in and around Tokyo, with some soccer matches taking place farther afield. Japan last hosted the Summer Games in 1964, which was the first in Asia; the Winter Olympics were there in 1972 and 1998.
2020 Olympics tickets.- Tickets, predictably, have sold out, at least for now. New tranches of tickets will be released in spring.
Watch the Olympics on TV.- The Olympics is back on NBC, with a 24/7 stream online if you verify you're a cable subscriber. NBCSports Gold will have a dedicated Olympics package -- pay an upfront fee and you'll be able to watch anywhere, uninterrupted by ads.
Tokyo is 16 hours ahead of the West Coast, so watching live should get a good spread of events. (Note the women's soccer final kicks off at 7 p.m. PT on Aug. 6.) It's a little trickier on the East Coast, where you may have to rely on highlights.
The BBC will cover the games on TV, radio and online in the UK, with more on Eurosport, a pay-TV channel. The time difference there is 8 hours, so you'll have to get up very early in the morning to watch live.
In Australia, the Seven Network will spread free-to-air coverage over Channel Seven, 7Mate and 7Two. It's a good year for watching Down Under, with Sydney only an hour ahead of Tokyo.
What events are new?.- Missing in London and Rio, men's baseball and women's softball are back due to their huge popularity in Japan. Five nations will join the hosts in contesting for gold on the diamond. (Just don't ask me to explain how they qualify.) Karate, sport climbing, surfing and skateboarding are also new, in a "How do you do, fellow kids?" move by the IOC. In the same vein, basketball adds a three-on-three tournament for eight nations. Rugby sevens, a variant that features seven players on each side, and golf return after debuting in Rio.(08/10/2019) ⚡AMP
A total of 11 people died and 5,664 people were taken to hospitals in Japan due to heat-related medical issues last week when temperatures rose sharply following the end of the rainy season in most areas, the Japanese Government revealed.
The latest figures have been released at a time when Tokyo 2020 organisers and the Government’s Bureau of Environment are working on measures that can be taken to safeguard athletes, spectators and volunteers during next year’s Olympic and Paralympic Games.
At last week’s beach volleyball test event in Tokyo misting sprays and air-conditioned tents were among the features trialled in order to combat the effects of rising temperatures in the capital.
As temperatures rose to 38 centigrade, the 11 deaths were reported in 11 different areas among Japan's 47 prefectures, Japanese agency Kyodo News reported.
Aichi Prefecture had the most people rushed to hospitals at 392, followed by Osaka Prefecture at 388 and Tokyo at 299.
The number of people sent to hospitals nearly tripled from 1,948 in the preceding week as the rainy season came to an end.
Those aged 65 and older accounted for 52.6 percent of the total in the week to last Sunday (July 28), according to the Fire and Disaster Management Agency.
Of the 5,664 people, 119 displayed severe symptoms that would normally require at least three weeks of treatment as an inpatient, while 1,792 suffered less serious issues, necessitating shorter stays.
As temperatures are likely to remain above the average in Japan in the upcoming week, the Agency urged people to stay hydrated and to take rest occasionally.
While the capital hosted its first Summer Games in the much-cooler month of October in 1964, next year's competition featuring 33 sports and 339 events is due to take place between July 24 and Aug. 9.
Weather-related concerns have mounted since Tokyo was awarded the Games in 2013, especially after a historic heatwave affected Japan's capital last summer, with an area near Tokyo seeing a record temperature of 41.1C.
Tokyo 2020 has admitted the threat posed by the extreme heat and typhoons is considered a "major issue" resulting in the shifting of start times of several events.
The men's and women's marathons were pushed back one hour to 6am and the men's 50 kilometres race walk will commence at 5:30am.
The organisers are set to provide information about weather conditions and safety precautions through the official mobile app.
They are also considering allowing spectators to bring their own bottled drinks into event venues, a departure from previous Games at which sponsor and security considerations have made such a possibility a no-go.
"This is all aimed at making spectators feel as comfortable as possible, given they have come to see events in a very hot and humid environment," Tokyo 2020 delivery officer Hidemasa Nakamura said last month.
He added that the measures taken would include a "specific focus on the elderly, children and international visitors".(08/03/2019) ⚡AMP
The last time that Tokyo hosted the Olympic Games is now 55 years ago, but the next time is just 365 days away as the Japanese capital commemorates one year to go to the 2020 Games opening ceremony.
When the Games came to Tokyo in 1964, 82 countries competed in athletics, no man had broken 10 seconds for 100m, the high jump was won with the straddle (men) and scissors (women) techniques and the longest women’s event was 800m. Abebe Bikila became the first man to win two Olympic marathon gold medals, Al Oerter won the third of his four consecutive discus gold medals and Betty Cuthbert won the first Olympic women’s 400m title to add to her 100m and 200m titles in 1956, completing a still unique sprint treble.
More than half a century later, athletics has changed and so has Tokyo but the Japanese city is preparing once again to welcome the world’s best athletes.
In the heart of Tokyo, the reimagined 1964 Olympic stadium, designed by Japanese architect Kengo Kuma, is almost complete.
Swathed in greenery and featuring wooden lattice screens reminiscent of traditional Japanese temple design, the three-tiered stadium will become the stage for the world’s finest athletes to perform at their very best.
Like almost every aspect of the preparation for the 2020 Olympic Games, it will feature the characteristics of both tradition and regeneration. The Games venues are divided into two main zones in the Japanese capital: the Heritage zone (where athletics will take centre stage) and the Tokyo Bay zone, which represents modern Japan and will host the athletes’ village, the Main Press Centre and International Broadcast Centre, and an urban sports venue.
The Japanese intend to break with tradition in one respect, by placing the Olympic cauldron, not at the main stadium, but on the waterfront at the Yume-no-Ohashi Bridge, near the urban sports cluster.
A second temporary cauldron will be in place at the stadium for the opening and closing ceremonies.
The 1964 Olympic stadium which originally stood on this site and which borders the wooded gardens of Tokyo’s spiritual home, the Meiji Shrine, has been gutted and rebuilt as a modern, sustainable 60,000-seat stadium.
Fans and misting systems have been installed to cool the covered stadium by as much as 10C from the outside temperature, the last seats are going in, the Mondo track is about to be laid and the Japan Sport Council is planning a grand opening with a full house on December 21 this year.
The stadium test event will be held on 5-6 May next year to ensure that the venue and officials are ready to welcome athletes from more than 200 countries.
By the time of the Games, the stadium will be a vertical garden, with plants fringing the covered walkways that encircle the building.
That will be the view of the stadium that the marathon runners will have as they approach at the end of 42 gruelling kilometres that will take them through both historic and modern Tokyo.
The marathon route starts and finishes at the stadium, passing the landmarks of Kaminarimon (the Thunder Gate, which is guarded by the deities of wind and thunder), the Imperial Palace, home of Japan’s new emperor Naruhito, Tokyo Station, the Zojoji temple, Tokyo Tower and the Nihombashi bridge.(07/24/2019) ⚡AMP
With one year to go until the opening of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, the design of the medals has been unveiled.
The medals not only represent the greatest honor for the athletes who win them, but also an opportunity for Japan to showcase its culture and charm to the rest of the world.
To produce these valuable medals, Tokyo 2020 invited Japanese citizens to send in any small electronic devices, such as used mobile phones, to be recycled and used in the manufacture of the approximately 5000 medals.
Tokyo 2020 also launched a medal design competition, inviting the public to submit design ideas for the medals. From the procurement of the metals to the development of the medal design, the entire country of Japan was involved in the production of the medals for the Tokyo 2020 Games.
The medals resemble rough stones that have been polished and which now shine, reflecting the concept that in order to achieve glory, athletes have to strive for victory on a daily basis. The way the medals reflect patterns of light symbolises the energy of the athletes and those who support them.
“An Olympic medal is one of the most coveted items in existence,” says two-time Olympic decathlon champion Ashton Eaton. “People spend decades, often agonising ones, working to obtain one. The life stories of so many are deﬁned by the pursuit of these metal medallions, and those same stories are what inspire and bring millions of us together.
“The weight of a medal around your neck is always a good weight. And when an athlete at Tokyo wins a medal, the weight of it will not be from the gold, silver or bronze; it will be the weight of a nation. The awesomeness of this project makes me want to come out of retirement and compete for one.
“I have always been a fan of people who do things differently; of those who try to move the needle in a positive way. I am a fan of Tokyo 2020.”(07/24/2019) ⚡AMP
I was very sporty as a kid, but never dreamed I’d run at an Olympics for Australia. For a start, I’m Irish, and when I first came here it was on a one-year working-holiday visa in 2002.
I stumbled into running nine years ago, aged 33. And now, after a seventh placing in the London marathon, I’ve run a qualifying time for the Australian team for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.
I’m from a small town on the west coast of Ireland called Belmullet. At my local primary school, the focus was on academics. Sports just didn’t feature. However, outside of school I was very active.
I grew up on the coast and, although we didn’t have any organised sports in our town, I was constantly running around, cycling, swimming, climbing cliffs or playing soccer and basketball with friends.
Unfortunately, the secondary school I attended had the same outlook. Academics was the focus and sports were seen as something you did in your spare time.
The school was run by nuns and they discouraged girls from being involved in sports. We were, however, allowed to play basketball at lunchtime, so that became my passion for the next few years.
I studied PE and Irish Teaching at university. I was surrounded by so many sports but, at 17, the expectation was that you should already have discovered your sport.
There was very little opportunity to try other sports, as you were expected to be at a certain level already. The irony of this (given the age I started athletics) doesn’t evade me!
So my college years were spent socialising, partying, trying to make the basketball team (I was never really that good) and a little bit of study thrown in. It was fun and I made a lot of close friends but unfortunately athletics never featured.
I was vaguely aware of Sonia O’Sullivan, as I’d seen her race on TV a few times, but I had no appreciation of how phenomenal she really was.
Not being in the sport, her times meant nothing to me. I only realised after I started running how fast she actually was. One of Ireland’s finest ever athletes, who I am now lucky enough to call a friend and mentor.
After I completed my degree I went on to do a post-graduate in computing, as I wasn’t sure I wanted to be a teacher, and I’ve worked in IT ever since.
I can understand how, after a long career in athletics, someone might lose that motivation especially after having achieved their goals.
There are so many parts of your life that are put on hold when training as an athlete. It can be a tough grind and there comes a time when athletics needs to take a back seat and the rest of your life continues.
I guess I’ve kind of done things in reverse, so I’m still 100 per cent motivated and absolutely loving it!
My age isn’t an issue with people I train with. That’s one of the reasons I love training with them. It just isn’t a factor.
They’re all a lot younger than me but they show me the same respect as anyone else in the group.(07/22/2019) ⚡AMP
Kinsey Middleton and Malindi Elmore both ran their first marathons in the last nine months, Middleton becoming Canadian champion at Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon last year, and Elmore making a strong debut at Houston in January.
Though they are at very different points in their lives and careers, their times were almost identical (2:32:09 and 2:32:15), and both are now chasing a spot on Canada’s Olympic team in the marathon. Middleton and Elmore will contest the Canadian Marathon Championships (which double as the Canadian Olympic marathon trials) at Scotiabank on October 20.
Middleton, 26, claims to have learned a lot from her first marathon. A native of Boise, Idaho, which is at 800m altitude and surrounded by mountains (she has dual citizenship, since her mother is Canadian), Middleton has relatively easy access to higher altitudes for training purposes.
She says she may plan to surpass the 190K peak weekly mileage she reached during last summer’s build, with the goal of getting even faster.
Malindi Elmore 39, represented Canada at the 2004 Olympics, the 2006 Commonwealth Games and the 2011 Pan Am Games, then became a triathlete for a while before returning to running. She has two children, and is in the midst of a comeback after retiring from her career as a 1,500m runner seven years ago–a comeback that surprises even her.
“I didn’t see this coming at all,” Elmore told us last month after her third-place finish at the Vancouver Sun Run. “I didn’t even think this was possible a year ago. I started running for fun and then the marathon went really well along with my 10K and half training. I’m feeling fresh again.”
Middleton and Elmore went two and three at this year’s Vancouver Sun Run, behind Canadian 10K and 10,000m champion Natasha Wodak.(07/12/2019) ⚡AMP
The National Stadium being built for next year's Olympic Games in Tokyo is 90 per cent complete and is set to be opened on December 21, it was revealed today.
Members of the media were given the chance to tour the 68,000-capacity stadium, which will be the centrepiece of Tokyo 2020.
According to news agency Reuters, National Stadium development director Takeo Takahashi said almost all the buildings had been finished and they were "now working on the interior and facility equipment inside the stadium".
"The grass and track have yet to be laid but this is expected to be completed in the next month," he added.
Around 45,000 seats have so far been installed at the stadium, being built at a cost of ¥149 billion ($1.3 billionUS).
An inauguration event is set to take place on December 21, Takahashi said, which will be open to the public.
It will give people the chance to have an inside look at the venue which will be the focal point of next year's Olympics Games and will hold the Opening and Closing Ceremonies, athletics (track and field and football (soccer).
The stadium features a roof with wood collected from all of Japan’s 47 prefectures.
The National Stadium is one of eight venues being constructed for next year's Games, which begin with the Opening Ceremony of the Olympics on July 24.(07/07/2019) ⚡AMP
Looks like an amazingly stadium. 7/10 10:00 pm
Millions of Japanese were let down last month when they came away empty-handed in a lottery for next year’s Olympics.
The bad news is that — despite a last-minute change of plans — most applicants will be disappointed again.
There simply aren’t enough Olympic tickets to go around with demand soaring in Japan and elsewhere as Authorized Ticket Resellers — the Olympic agents contracted to sell tickets outside Japan — have also opened sales worldwide.
Demand is being driven by the 35 million people who live in Greater Tokyo, and is in sharp contrast to the last Olympics in Rio de Janeiro where tickets were being given away or went unsold.
Takaya did not say how many tickets had been purchased in Japan so far. He said he would give the number on Friday.
Organizers say there are about 7.8 million tickets for all events. However, an estimate from one previous Olympics suggests that up to 25% of these are off the table immediately, going to sponsors, international federations, 200 national Olympic committees, dignitaries, and so forth. In addition, Tokyo says between 20-30% are set aside for foreign buyers.
An informal estimate by the AP suggests there may be 4-5 million tickets for Japan residents. And that’s probably generous.
Organizers said last month that 7.5 million residents of Japan registered to apply for tickets in the lottery. If each applied for only six tickets — and that seems low — demand would be 10 times over supply.
“This is probably going to be the most popular Olympics, and possibly one of the most popular events of all time,” Ken Hanscom, the chief operating officer of TicketManager, told the AP in an interview.
“The demand from the general public indeed exceeded our expectations,” Tokyo spokesman Masa Takaya told The Associated Press. He said organizers were “absolutely pleased” by the interest.
Takaya said another lottery — open to all Japan residents — would be held by the end of the year as organizers rejigger their plans.(07/05/2019) ⚡AMP
World champion race walker Ines Henriques is aiming for gender equality by asking the Court of Arbitration for Sport to add the women's 50-kilometer event to the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
CAS said Thursday that it will hear her appeal against the International Olympic Committee and the IAAF on July 29-30.
On the Olympic track and field program, the 50K walk is the only men's medal event with no female equivalent. The IAAF has said the women's 50K walk currently lacks the depth and quality to justify Olympic status.
When Henriques won the first world championship title in 2017, only seven athletes from four countries started the race.
Only four finished as Henriques set a world record of 4 hours, 5 minutes, 56 seconds. Liu Hong of China has since lowered the record below four hours, pending official ratification.
39-year-old Portuguese walker won the 2018 European Championship title in a 19-athlete race.
In an interview published on the IAAF website last year, Henriques said her dream was to compete in Tokyo with more than 30 women.
"I hope that the IOC and the IAAF allow me to realize this dream," she said last year.
Addi Zerrenner, 23, made her debut at Grandma's Marathon in Duluth, Minn., and completed the 26.2 miles in 2 hours, 37 minutes, 51 seconds. The time met the qualifying standard (2:45) for the U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials for the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo. It also was the ninth fastest time in the women's field finisher and the 145th overall.
But more than anything else, the race established her as a marathoner.
"It’s been a long time coming," she said. "I always wanted to be a marathoner since high school."
She used to tell people she was a marathoner and the first thing she'd be asked was what was her best time. Sheepishly, she'd reply, "Well, I've never run one."
That all changed when she crossed the finish line at Grandma's.
"It was like the day was finally here. I’m finally the person who I always thought of myself as." she said.
Zerrenner expected to run close to 2:45, "but I was also going into the race with no expectations because I heard so much about the marathon and that you can never underestimate it. I went through every different type of emotion in the race."
Her coach, Terry Howell of Santa Barbara, saw Zerrenner's potential as a marathon runner.
“I definitely saw her potential fairly quickly, not only her physical potential but her mental toughness. Addi is super focused and when she gets locked in on a task or goal she just gets it done,” he said.
“The plan all along was to move her up to the marathon distance,” he said of her training. “But I thought it might take us 12-18 months of training before we even thought about running one. Her training, however, accelerated fairly quickly and she responded well to the added distance and harder training sessions.”(07/03/2019) ⚡AMP
Millions of people were disappointed last Thursday when applicants in a ticket lottery — for Japan residents, only — began learning if they landed tickets. The answer is going to be overwhelmingly — no. The same will be true for residents outside Japan who could experience a similar dejection: too much demand and too few tickets.
This was not the case at the last several games — the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang and the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro — when tickets were given away and volunteers were often summoned to fill empty seats for the television cameras. At times, there were too many empty seats to fill.
“This is probably going to be the most popular Olympics, and possibly one of the most popular events of all time," Ken Hanscom, the chief operating officer of TicketManager, told The Associated Press in an interview.
His Los Angeles-based company does not buy or sell Olympic tickets, but manages tickets for corporate clients, several of which are major Olympic sponsors.
Hanscom said he follows ticketing patterns for every major event and estimates that 80-90% of Japan residents who applied for tickets could get nothing.
"I'm interested in seeing what the reaction is and how the organizing committee addresses this," Hanscom said. "It's good news for the demand, and bad news on the ticket side and the public."
Tokyo's organizing committee was unable Thursday to say how many Japan residents got tickets, and it's unclear if — or when — it will disclose the overall numbers. Organizers will run a second ticketing phase where the odds will probably be even worse.
Japanese media immediately began reporting about disheartened fans. A completely unscientific AP survey of a few fans showed one ticket awarded in 15 application attempts. The millions who failed got this message in email from Tokyo organizers.
"Thank you for your interest in purchasing Tokyo 2020 tickets. The demand for tickets was incredibly high, and unfortunately, you were not awarded any of the tickets you requested in the lottery."
Simple math explains the supply and demand crunch.
Tokyo organizers say that 7.5 million residents of Japan registered to apply for tickets through the lottery system. Extrapolating from the 2012 London Olympic lottery, Hanscom estimates that Tokyo organizers may have received 70-85 million individual ticket requests. This could be at least 10 times more than what's available. Maybe more.
Organizers estimate there are 7.8 million tickets for all Olympic events, but 20-30% of those are for distribution outside Japan where buyers could face the same problems and end up paying more.
Buyers outside Japan must get tickets from Authorized Ticket Resellers, companies appointed by national Olympic committees. They were authorized to begin sales on Thursday.
The reseller for the United States is CoSport, which also handles sales in Australia, Jordan and several European countries. Cartan is the reseller for much of Latin America including Mexico.
Resellers are allowed to charge a 20% handling fee on every ticket. They can also use a generous currency exchange rate, and often package desirable tickets with top hotels that charge way over the usual going rate during the Olympics.
Ticket prices for buyers in Japan vary greatly and are listed in the competition section on the organizers' website.
The opening ceremony on July 24 features the most expensive ticket — 300,000 yen ($2,700). The most expensive ticket for the closing ceremony is 220,000 yen ($2,000).
Even with the soaring demand, many venues could still wind up with hundreds of empty seats that are typically set aside for International Olympic Committee officials, corporate sponsors, and local dignitaries. Often they don't show up while angry fans line up outside without tickets.
"I expect there will be a problem in Tokyo," Hanscom said. "The industry figure is that 40% of tickets that sponsors buy go in the trash," he said. He said the problem was acute for the Olympics and World Cup.
"Every Olympics you have a new group of people running ticketing," he said. "And you have new technology. So you're always scrambling to put the process together."(06/22/2019) ⚡AMP
Recruitment of torch relay runners for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics opened on Monday for people of all genders and nationalities.
The recruitments will be conducted by four sponsor companies and all the 47 prefectures in Japan. Applicants can apply to all sponsor companies and one of the prefectures, but can only run once in the relay, Xinhua news agency reported.
Those who wish to be torchbearers in the relay, which will travel around Japan for 121 days, can first submit their application through the smartphone app of Coca-Cola (Japan) Co, one of the torch relay sponsors of Tokyo Games.
The application period will end on August 31 and the final results are expected around the middle of December.
The three other torch relay sponsors, Toyota Motor, Nippon Life Insurance and Nippon Telegraph and Telephone Corporation, will begin accepting applications on June 24, while special entities led by local governments in each prefecture will start doing so on July 1.
About 10,000 torchbearers will run roughly 200m each in the Japan leg of the relay, which will pass through all 47 prefectures of the country and feature major landmarks, including world heritage sites and areas devastated by recent natural disasters such as the 2011 earthquake and tsunami.
To run in the relay, people must have been born before April 1, 2008, and have a connection with the prefecture in which they wish to run, the organisers said.
The third photo is the Olympic flame at the 1964 Tokyo Olympics.(06/18/2019) ⚡AMP
It’s hard to tell whether making people look like mercenary swordsmen of feudal Japan was intentional or not.
The weather is warming up as Japan heads back into the summer, and it’s quickly reminding everyone just how much this season sucks. In urban areas, little green space and scant shade transform entire neighborhoods in heat islands, which are places where the heat hits you from both the scorching sun above and the blistering asphalt beneath.
Runners from all over the world run will be running the marathon, 10,000m and 5000m on the track and thousands of spectators will be standing around for the 2020 Olympics. The city has been mulling several strategies such as shifting the event to the early or late hours, adopting day light savings time, and even having all nearby shops blast the air conditioning with their front doors open.
But now at a press conference on 24 May, Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike unveiled their latest weapon against the heat: these goofy looking hats!(05/26/2019) ⚡AMP
Sir Mo Farah, 36, quit in 2017 to concentrate on road races, and will compete in Sunday's London Marathon.
He won gold in the 5,000m and 10,000m at the 2012 and 2016 Olympics.
Farah told BBC Sport: "If I was capable of getting an Olympic medal no matter what color it is, would you turn it down? If I am capable then why not?"
In an interview with Steve Cram, he said: "It would be nice to have another one. I have no regrets with what I have done but I don't want to look back one day and think, 'that year, I was fit, perhaps I should have gone to the Olympics, maybe I could have won a medal'."
Farah hinted in March that he may return to the track for September's World Championships in Qatar.
He said on Wednesday: "If everything goes well for me, why not?" Six-time world champion Farah, who finished third in the London Marathon last year, has yet to compete at a major championships over the 26.2-mile distance.
He ran two hours five minutes 11 seconds to win the Chicago Marathon in October, a victory he says gave him "massive confidence" for London.
Great Britain's officials will meet early next week to discuss selections for the World Championships in Doha.
The marathon takes place on September 29 and the Chicago Marathon on 13 October. Asked if he will be part of conversations for the marathon in Doha, Farah said: "Yes, my name will be discussed. I think I have hinted enough. If I am good and capable of getting a medal why not? It suits me and I'm in good shape."
Farah said he has "missed" the frequent racing provided by track competition, compared to the less regular marathons.
"You always start a 1500m at the start of the season, then a 10k, a 5k, a 3k, and I have missed all of that," he added. "In the marathon you can't afford to do all that and a lot of it is kind of done in training."(04/25/2019) ⚡AMP
A decade ago, Yoko Aoki would never have been able to imagine the current life she has.
Without any major sports experience, her day-to-day lifestyle used to be far from that of an average athlete. Now she runs long distances every day, supported by a team that allows her to compete in blind marathon races with the hope of representing Japan at the Tokyo 2020 Paralympics.
“My life has changed a lot. I never expected this,” the 42-year-old Aoki said. “I don’t think I’ve changed. But I can do a lot of different things that I couldn’t do before because I have a goal I want to achieve.”
Aoki’s vision was impaired by an injury she suffered after graduating from high school. She attended a vocational training school and learned how to use computers while training to walk again. Aoki said she has no problems in her daily life, including working in an office.
One day, her co-worker told her about a blind marathon club, which opened the gate for her to become a para athlete.
“I just wanted to run or walk with an assistant as exercise,” Aoki said. “I could not run or walk by myself, but I could easily find a person to escort me by joining the club.”
Since then, blind marathons have become a major part of her life, and four years ago the Japan Blind Marathon Association chose Aoki to receive special training. She clocked her career-best 3 hours, 13 minutes and 36 seconds at the Hofu Yomiuri Marathon in Yamaguchi Prefecture last December, recording the all-time third-best race in a Japanese women’s blind marathon.
The International Paralympic Committee defines three categories of blind marathon according to the severity of impairment: T11 (very low visual acuity and/or no light perception), T12 (0.03 or lower eyesight and/or a visual field radius of less than 5 degrees) and T13 (from 0.04 to 0.1 eyesight and/or a visual field of less than 20 degrees radius). For T11 and T12, to which Aoki belongs, blind marathoners must be accompanied by an escort runner.
During a race, the pair hold opposite ends of a meter-long rope as the escort runner helps to set the pace and shares information on upcoming obstacles and the status of other runners.
“The most important thing for the escort runner is caring about the runner’s safety,” said Yoshihide Fukuhara, the head coach of Aoki’s Team OYO (the initial “O” refers to the first character of Aoki’s maiden name, Otokozawa, and “YO” is from her first name), who himself is also a blind marathon runner.
“The escort runner’s vision has to synchronize with the runner’s mind. Good escort runners provide the necessary information and know when to spurt.”
Aoki, however, claims anybody can become an escort runner. According to Fukuhara, a blind marathoner will use several different escort runners between starting their daily practice and taking part in competitive races.
For example, Aoki runs about 10 kilometers every morning with a rotating set of running partners. For daily training, escort runners do not require the ability to run a marathon.
“What I want from them is that they want to run with me at daily practice. I have about 15 running partners to support my daily practice. They are all volunteers,” said Aoki. “Of course, we need fast and experienced guides in the competition, but for daily practice, the priority is people who can come to my house and run with me early in the morning.”
A blind athlete can have up to two guides in a race. Exchanging is allowed once, at either the 10-, 20- or 30-km point. If the escort runner retires at any point during the race, the blind runner is also disqualified.
Any rule violation by the escort runner, such as doping, results in the disqualification of the blind athlete. Escort runners are not allowed to help their blind athlete, even when they fall down, or to cross the finish line first.(04/13/2019) ⚡AMP
The Olympic torch incorporates several elements of Japanese culture, and reinforces Tokyo 2020’s Olympic Torch Relay concept: “Hope lights our way”.
The concept is designed to bring the Japanese people together around messages of support, acceptance and encouragement of one another, while also reflecting the Olympic flame’s ability to promote peace and hope to the world.
Not only do Japan’s famed cherry blossoms happen to bloom in March, coinciding with the start of the Olympic Torch Relay, but the shape of the torch also resembles a Japanese traditional “Sakuramon” cherry blossom emblem.
The body of the torch features five cylinders that represent petals of the beloved flower. Flames are generated from each “petal”, which are united in the centre of the torch, lighting the way with greater brilliance. A number of technological innovations are deployed in the combustion section that lights the torch, including catalytic reaction.
Further building on this spirit of innovation, the torch’s unique shape is made possible by utilising the same modern aluminium extrusion technology used in the manufacturing of Japan’s renowned bullet trains.
The construction of the torch also incorporates sustainability by using aluminium waste from temporary housing that was built in the aftermath of the Great East Japan Earthquake. While the materials were once used to help rebuild lives, they will now be used to spread a message of hope and recovery.
In keeping with its vision to celebrate unity in diversity, the torch was designed to ensure ease of use for everyone. It consists of a weight and shape that is simple to grip and features a position mark to help visually impaired torchbearers identify the front of the torch.(03/20/2019) ⚡AMP
According to Oh Chang-seok, a former men's national marathon coach who helped the Kenyan-born runner with his naturalization, the IAAF recently announced that the 30-year-old marathoner can be formally selected for the South Korean national team starting March 7.
Originally, the IAAF said that Oh Joo-han can run for South Korea starting in August 2021. But after reviewing his national team eligibility, the IAAF changed its decision.
"We first requested the IAAF to review Oh's national team eligibility in December 2018, but it told us to submit additional documents that can prove his residential history in South Korea," Oh Chang-seok said.
"So, we submitted notarized documents from Cheongyang County Governor and his lawyer, and we passed the status reexamination."Born Wilson Loyanae Erupe, Oh acquired his South Korean passport last September.
Under a new rule by the IAAF on transfers of allegiance, athletes must wait three years after switching allegiance before they can represent their adopted country.
Previously, athletes who hadn't represented their native country only had to wait one year to compete for their adopted country. But Chang-seok thought that Oh's case could be subject to review.
After Oh completed his naturalization process, with help of the Korea Association of Athletics Federations (KAAF), he requested the IAAF to reexamine the case."Oh has been affiliated with Cheonyang County (in South Chungcheong Province) since 2015 and he has only been competing in marathon events in South Korea," Chang-seok said.
With paperwork cleared, Oh will now aim to win bronze at Tokyo 2020 for South Korea.
"Oh will compete in an international marathon event in September and will try to pass the Tokyo Olympic qualifying standard time (of 2 hours, 11 minutes, 30 seconds)," Chang-seok said. "Oh's target is to stand on the podium at the Tokyo Olympics for South Korea in August 2020."(03/20/2019) ⚡AMP
In case you haven’t been paying close attention, the IAAF has greatly increased the difficulty of the entry standards as they mainly want athletes to qualify via the newly-created world rankings. When the IAAF announced its new qualifying system on March 10, “the process is designed to achieve about 50 percent of the target numbers for each event through Entry Standards and the remaining 50 percent through the IAAF World Ranking System,” but that is somewhat misleading as most of the athletes who qualify via the entry standard would also qualify via the world rankings.
The entry standards were mainly designed as an insurance policy for a superstar who might have been out with injury or pregnancy, as the IAAF explained in a press release in July, “Entry standards will be approved and published later this year, but will be set for the sole purpose of qualifying athletes with exceptional performances unable to qualify through the IAAF world rankings pathway.”
Despite that, for some unknown reason, USATF told us on Friday that they won’t pay any attention to the IAAF world rankings for Olympic Trials competitors if there are three people in an event who have hit the qualifying standard.
So even if the top three finishers in an event at the US Olympic Trials are all ranked in the top 32 in the world — the IAAF takes at least 32 people for every track and field event except for the multis (24) and 10,000 (27) — if they don’t have the standard, USATF has said they won’t be going to the Olympics if there are three other finishers at the Trials who have hit the qualifying mark.
If the 2020 rules had been in place for 2016, USATF wouldn’t have sent Paul Chelimo — who finished third at the Trials in the 5,000 in 2016 and would have been ranked in the top 30 in the world had the world rankings existed — to the Olympics even though he went on to earn a silver medal as his PR at the time was slower than the 2020 standard.
All told, seven US mid-d or distance runners — all of whom were top three at the Trials and five of whom went on to make the final in their event in Rio — would not have made the team.
Today the IAAF Council met in Doha and announced the qualification system for track & field at the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo. The big change from previous years is that the IAAF will be using its new World Ranking System as part of the qualifying criteria.
As in the past, athletes can still qualify by hitting an entry standard. But those standards are much stiffer across the board as compared to 2016. In the men’s distance events, for example, the times dropped from 3:36.20 to 3:35.00 in the 1500, from 8:30:00 to 8:22:00 in the steeplechase, from 13:25.00 to 13:13.50 in the 5000, from 28:00.00 to 27:28:00 in the 10,000, and from 2:19:00 to 2:11:30 in the marathon for 2020.
For the women, the 1500 standard has gone from 4:07.00 to 4:04.20, the steeplechase standard has gone from 9:45:00 to 9:30:00, the 5000 standard has gone from 15:24.00 to 15:10.00, the 10,000 standard has gone from 32:15 to 31:25, and the marathon standard has gone from 2:45:00 to 2:29:30.
The reason for these tougher standards is the IAAF’s desire to make use of its World Ranking System which in theory encourages athletes to compete head to head in important meets, which is something we’re behind. Essentially, the World Ranking System will take the place of the world descending order list that was used to fill fields in the past at the Olympics and World Championships.
The IAAF will accept all athletes who achieve the entry standard and fill the rest of the field based on where an athlete ranks in the World Ranking System as of July 1, 2020; if the athlete does not accept the place, the IAAF will continue down the rankings until the field is full in each event.
The qualification window for each event is as follows:
For the marathon and 50k race walk, the qualification period runs from January 1, 2019, to May 31, 2020
For the 10,000, 20k race walk, and combined events, the qualification period runs from January 1, 2019, to June 29, 2020.
For all other events, the qualification period runs from May 1, 2019, to June 29, 2020.
In addition, the top 10 finishers in the marathon at the 2019 World Championships will be considered to have achieved the standard, as will top-5 finishers at IAAF Gold Label Marathons and top-10 finishers at Abbott World Marathon Majors held during the qualification period.(03/11/2019) ⚡AMP
Greek runner Alexi Pappas’s new film, Olympic Dreams, will premiere in the Narrative Spotlight category at the SXSW film festival in Austin, Texas from March 8-17. Pappas, who set a national record for Greece in the 10,000m at the 2016 Olympics in Rio and ran her first marathon in Chicago in 2018, co-directs and stars, as she did in Tracktown in 2016.
The new film, which was shot during the 2018 Winter Olympics in Peongchang, is a series of vignettes featuring Penelope (played by Pappas), a slightly insecure cross-country skier, and Ezra (played by comedian Nick Kroll), a volunteer dentist in the Olympic village.
Pappas is an alumna of both Dartmouth and Oregon, and has always loved to indulge her creative side while also competing on the track. Pappas is reportedly hoping to run the marathon at the 2020 Olympics, representing Greece.(03/01/2019) ⚡AMP
British runner Jo Pavey is targeting a record-equalling sixth Olympic Games next year, when she will be 46.
That would match javelin thrower Tessa Sanderson's six Olympic appearances by a British track and field athlete.
Pavey was the oldest woman to win a European Championships gold when claiming the 10,000m title in 2014 aged 40, just 11 months after giving birth.
"I forget how old I am. I'm not complacent but I will attempt to make my sixth Olympics," she told BBC Sport.
Pavey made her first Olympic appearance at Sydney in 2000, has qualified for the British team at every Games since, and now wants to earn a place on the British team for Tokyo 2020.
"I need to get a good qualifying time this year, and really want to start racing in early spring, but I enjoy the challenge," she said.
"It's a difficult task, I'm totally aware of that, but something that's fun to try. I love the ups and downs of the journey."
The mother-of-two hopes to win a place in the 10,000m at the 2019 World Championships in Doha in September en route to going for the Games in Japan.
She entered the 2017 London Marathon with a view to qualifying for the marathon at that year's World Championships in London but had to drop out at 16 miles and then saw her bid to qualify at 10,000m ended by injury.
In 2018, she finished third at the Vitality London 10,000 behind fellow Briton Steph Twell.(01/26/2019) ⚡AMP
The 35-year-old Sir Mo Farah has won four Olympic and six World Championship golds during an illustrious track career. He is considering returning to the track this coming season.
His marathon career received a boost last month when he recorded his first win, in Chicago, setting a new European record in the process.
However, when asked by radio station Dubai Eye 103.8 about returning to the track, Farah replied: "2020 is definitely on my mind. I am just taking it one race at a time.
"The best thing now is I have a lot of options. I was talking to Gary (Lough, his coach), the people I am close with and some of the fans and I have been honest with them.
"They asked 'what goes through your mind' and there's lots. Am I still good enough to compete with these guys; can I beat them?
"Part of me does miss the track because that is all I have known for the last 10 years, hanging around with these guys and competing against them."
The concept for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Torch Relay across Japan will be "Hope Lights Our Way", uniting the Japanese people around messages of supporting, accepting and encouraging one another.
The Olympic flame is often associated with a message of peace and hope, as it is carried around the host nation, and as such has become one of the most powerful symbols of the Olympic Movement.
In 2020, the Olympic flame will not only symbolise the sunrise of a new era spreading the hope that will light our way, but will also serve to spread the joy and passion of the Japanese around the Olympic movement as the Games approach.
Upon its arrival in Japan, the Olympic flame will initially be put on display at various locations in the Tohoku region, to help underscore this message of hope in the areas affected by the 2011 earthquake and tsunami.
The Relay will travel to all 47 prefectures in Japan, showcasing the varied cultural and scenic attractions of each region.
The Relay will commence on March 26 2020 in Fukushima Prefecture, and start its journey southwards. The torch is likely to traverse the inland prefectures of central Japan against the backdrop of Japan's famous cherry blossoms, which typically bloom there in early April.
The Relay will then proceed southwest until it reaches the islands of Okinawa, the southernmost prefecture of Japan, in early May.
It will make its way back up to the north of the country, passing through Kyoto in late May, all the way up to Hokkaido, where it will arrive in mid-June. The Relay will then turn southwards again and complete its long journey in Tokyo after spending three days in each of the four prefectures outside of the capital that are hosting events during the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020.
The torch will traverse Japan for a total of 121 days. The precise route of the Relay will be firmed up during the coming months and announced in 2019, following approval by the IOC.
March 12 is the lighting ceremony in Olympia Greece and the Greek leg of the Tokyo 2020 Torch Relay will continue until March 19 when there is a handover ceremony in Athens, Greece.
The Flame arrives at Matsushima Airfield, Miyagi, Japan on March 20, 2020.(12/20/2018) ⚡AMP
Reports that cauldrons would be established both in the Olympic Stadium and on Tokyo's waterfront near the Yume-no-Ohashi Bridge were confirmed at a meeting of the Tokyo 2020 Organising Committee.
Under the Olympic Charter, the flame must be in public view for the entirety of the Olympics.
Tokyo 2020 organisers stated, "So that as many people as possible can view the flame, two separate cauldrons will be deployed.
"One will be set up inside the Olympic Stadium and used only during the Opening and Closing Ceremonies; another, to which the flame will be transferred after the Opening Ceremony, will be placed in Tokyo's bustling waterfront area, allowing the wider public to view it and experience the spirit and excitement of the Games.
"The flame will only be displayed in one location at a time."
"A number of locations, including Games venues, live sites and tourist attractions in Tokyo, were considered as the site for the cauldron outside of the Olympic Stadium.
"Tokyo 2020 took into account the IOC's stipulation that the location should be a symbolic site which would allow as many people as possible to view the flame without having to purchase tickets for the Games.
"Considering all these factors, as well as security and operational issues, it was decided that the Ariake side of the Yume-no-Ohashi Bridge in the waterfront area would be an ideal location.(12/20/2018) ⚡AMP