The 10-day Olympic Games athletics schedule includes nine morning in-stadium finals and 6am marathon starts
The athletics timetable for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games has been published, with the 10-day schedule featuring a number of morning finals and the addition of the mixed 4x400m relay.
Competition will begin with the men’s 20km race walk on Friday July 31 and conclude with the men’s marathon on the final day of the Games, Sunday August 9.
The marathons will both start at 6am local time, with the women’s race taking place on day three, Sunday August 2. The men’s 50km race walk will begin at 5:30am on the penultimate morning, while the men’s and women’s 20km race walk events will start at 6am. The early starting times have been set “to give athletes the coolest and safest possible race conditions”.
Nine in-stadium finals will take place during the morning sessions, while the women’s 100m final will be on the evening of day two and the men’s on the evening of day three. The men’s 10,000m final is on the evening of day one, while the women’s is on the the last evening of action, on Saturday August 8.
The mixed 4x400m relay will be held on the evening of day two with the aim of allowing athletes the chance to also compete in the individual 400m events and the traditional 4x400m relay races if they wish, though the men’s 400m heats take place the next morning and both 400m hurdles competitions will be under way.
The decathlon and heptathlon events will be staged together in the same two-day period of August 5-6.
“The Tokyo 2020 schedule is substantially different from our previous Olympic timetables, but will offer the vast majority of athletics fans attending the Games the opportunity to see Olympic medals being decided, with finals scheduled in 15 of the 17 sessions in the main stadium,” said IAAF competitions director Paul Hardy.
“Having finals in the morning, as requested by the International Olympic Committee, will enhance the visibility of athletics across all time zones.
“The stadium-based distance events remain in the evening sessions to reduce the risk of very hot conditions for our endurance athletes, while the road events will start as early as practicable in the morning.
“The new schedule also accommodates both the traditional doubles and the historic addition of the mixed 4x400m relay, the first time that athletics has combined the talents of both male and female athletes in one event at the Games.”