World Athletics road race season, Tokyo qualification to restart in September

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Timothy Cheruiyot of Kenya celebrates after the men's 1500m final at the 2019 IAAF World Athletics Championships in Doha, Qatar, Oct. 6, 2019. (Xinhua/Jia Yuchen)
Timothy Cheruiyot of Kenya celebrates after the men's 1500m final at the 2019 IAAF World Athletics Championships in Doha, Qatar, Oct. 6, 2019. (Xinhua/Jia Yuchen)

World Athletics road races will return as a Bronze Label 10km race in Brcko, Bosnia and Herzegovina kicks off the restart to the coronavirus-disrupted 2020 season, the world athletics governing body announced on its official website on Tuesday.

Since the COVID-19 pandemic forced a halt to the 2020 season in March, only a Bronze Label race in Karlovac, Croatia has been staged in July, with most of the scheduled events canceled for 2020.

Three Platinum Label marathon races in London, Shanghai, and Valencia remain on the updated calendar, although London Marathon made clear it would only allow elite athletes to participate, and World Athletics stressed that the plan “does remain subject to challenge, due to the ongoing uncertainty created by the progress of the coronavirus pandemic around the world.”

“The road racing community has endured huge disruption this year as it is largely reliant on mass participation events, which have not been possible in many countries over the last few months,” World Athletics CEO Jon Ridgeon said.

“But we recognize that many of our professional road runners are reliant on prize money to support themselves so we’re pleased to see that opportunities still remain for them to compete, in safe conditions, over the latter part of this year.”

Moreover, road athletes will be able to register Tokyo 2020 Olympic qualifying entry standards from September 1 to November 30, 2020, on which the suspension by World Athletics originally ends, but “only in pre-identified, advertised and authorized races being staged on World Athletics certified courses, with in-competition drug testing on-site.”

The accrual of points for world rankings and the automatic qualification through Gold label marathons/Platinum Label marathons remain suspended until November 30, the organization said.

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