Tokyo Olympic schedule remains the same, venues lined up

Tokyo Olympics Delayed
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TOKYO — The 42 venues for next year’s Tokyo Olympics have been secured and the competition schedule will remain almost identical to the one that would have been used this year.

The Athletes Village and the main press center have also been lined up for 2021.

That was the message delivered Friday to IOC members by Tokyo organizing committee President Yoshiro Mori and CEO Toshiro Muto.

They spoke from Japan to a full session of the IOC membership meeting online.

Estimates in Japan say the delay will cost $2 billion to $6 billion, with Japanese taxpayers picking up the bills. Olympic officials have not given any overall cost estimate.

The Opening Ceremony for the Olympics will be on July 23, 2021. However, women’s softball and soccer will open on July 21, men’s soccer on July 22, and archery and rowing on July 23.

On July 24, the first full day after the opening, the first medal event will be the women’s 10m air rifle.

Unlike the large, public celebration of a year ago, local organizers at the last minute have put together a small, non-public event for Thursday inside the new national stadium to mark one year to go. Organizers have teased a possible appearance of the Olympic Flame.

IOC President Thomas Bach said earlier this week that “multiple scenarios” are being thought about to pull off the Olympics next year. He said empty stadiums were an option, but not a preference, in the long list of possibilities.

“It includes all different countermeasures: quarantine, you name it,” he said. “But, Olympic Games behind closed doors is clearly something we do not want. We are working for a solution of the Olympic Games which, on the one hand is safeguarding the health of all the participants, and on the other hand is also reflecting the Olympic spirit.”

MORE: IOC Athletes’ Commission to draft proposal on athlete protests

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Eliud Kipchoge, two races shy of his target, to make Boston Marathon debut

Eliud Kipchoge Berlin Marathon
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World record holder Eliud Kipchoge will race the Boston Marathon for the first time on April 17.

Kipchoge, who at September’s Berlin Marathon lowered his world record by 30 seconds to 2:01:09, has won four of the six annual major marathons — Berlin, Tokyo, London and Chicago.

The 38-year-old Kenyan has never raced Boston, the world’s oldest annual marathon dating to 1897, nor New York City but has repeated in recent years a desire to enter both of them.

Typically, he has run the London Marathon in the spring and the Berlin Marathon in the fall.

Kipchoge’s last race in the U.S. was the 2014 Chicago Marathon, his second of 10 consecutive marathon victories from 2014 through 2019.

He can become the first reigning men’s marathon world record holder to finish the Boston Marathon since South Korean Suh Yun-Bok set a world record of 2:25:39 in Boston in 1947, according to the Boston Athletic Association.

In 2024 in Paris, Kipchoge is expected to race the Olympic marathon and bid to become the first person to win three gold medals in that event.

The Boston Marathon field also includes arguably the second- and third-best men in the world right now — Kipchoge’s Kenyan training partners Evans Chebet and Benson Kipruto. Chebet won Boston and New York City this year. Kipruto won Boston last year and Chicago this year.

American Des Linden, who won Boston in 2018, headlines the women’s field.

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2024 Tour de France to end with Nice time trial due to Paris Olympics

2024 Tour de France Nice
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The 2024 Tour de France will end on the French Riviera instead of the French capital because of the Paris Olympics.

The finish of cycling’s marquee race leaves Paris for the first time since 1905.

Tour organizers said on Thursday the last stage of its 111th race will take place in the Mediterranean resort of Nice on July 21. Five days later, Paris opens the Olympics.

Because of security and logistical reasons, the French capital won’t have its traditional Tour finish on the Champs-Elysees. Parting with tradition of a sprint on the Champs-Elysees, the last stage will be an individual time trial along Nice’s famed Promenade des Anglais.

The start of the 2024 race, which will begin for the first time in Italy, was brought forward by one week, a customary change during an Olympic year. The Tour will start on June 29 in Florence.

Nice has hosted the Tour 37 times, including its start twice, in 1981 and in 2020. Two years ago, the start was delayed until Aug. 29 due to lockdowns and travels bans during the COVID-19 pandemic.

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