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Osaka Marathon to be held minus 20,000 'citizen runners' to prevent COVID spread

In this Oct. 25, 2015 file photo, Osaka Marathon participants fill Midosuji Avenue in Osaka's Chuo Ward. (Mainichi/Maiko Umeda)

OSAKA -- The combined 10th Osaka Marathon and 77th Lake Biwa Mainichi Marathon will be held without the usual 20,000 amateur "citizen" runners to prevent the spread of coronavirus infections, Osaka Gov. Hirofumi Yoshimura revealed on Feb. 15.

    The Osaka Prefectural Government is one of the race's organizers. The Feb. 27 event will be held in the city of Osaka with just around 300 runners, men and women, in the elite division.

    This will be the race's first edition since the Osaka Marathon and Lake Biwa Mainichi Marathon were integrated. It will also be a qualification event for this summer's World Athletics Championships in the U.S. city of Eugene, Oregon, and an important race to win places in the Marathon Grand Championship in Japan, a qualifier for the 2024 Paris Olympic Games.

    The race is sponsored by The Mainichi Newspapers Co. and other organizations.

    (Japanese original by Masaki Ishikawa, Osaka City News Department)

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