The marathon and race walking events for the 2020 Olympic Games will be moved from host city Tokyo to Sapporo in a bid to protect athletes from the heat, it was announced on Wednesday.

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) stated the switch to Hokkaido, the northern-most prefecture of Japan, could see participants competing in conditions five to six degrees centigrade cooler.

In a statement, the IOC said the plans are an attempt to "mitigate the effects of the temperatures which may occur next summer".

IAAF president Sebastian Coe said: "We have been working closely with the IOC and Tokyo 2020 on the potential weather conditions at next year's Olympic Games and will continue to work with the IOC and Tokyo 2020 on the proposal to move the road events to Sapporo. 

"Giving athletes the best platform for their performances within the environment they are in is central to all major events, and we will work with the organisers to create the very best marathon and race walk courses for next year's Olympic Games."

IOC chief Thomas Bach added: "Athletes' health and well-being are always at the heart of our concerns. 

"A range of measures to protect the athletes have already been announced. The new far-reaching proposals to move the marathon and race walking events show how seriously we take such concerns. 

"The Olympic Games are the platform where athletes can give 'once-in-a-lifetime' performances, and these measures ensure they have the conditions to give their best. I would like to thank World Athletics, and we look forward to working with them on the implementation."

The decision comes in the wake of the criticism organisers faced at the World Athletics Championships in Doha.

Marathon races were held in the early hours of the morning to try to alleviate the extreme heat of the day in Qatar, but several athletes collapsed and nearly half the field failed to finish in the women's marathon race.

It marks a further measure taken by Tokyo 2020, with athletics races of 5000 metres and longer scheduled to take place in the evening and all morning rugby matches to be completed before 12pm local time among other steps taken.

Spanish sprint hurdler Orlando Ortega was handed a dramatic bronze medal reprieve at the World Athletics Championships - a day after a falling rival ruined his race in the Doha final.

The Cuba-born athlete, who took silver in the 110 metres hurdles at the 2016 Olympics, was in contention for a top-three finish on Wednesday when Jamaican Omar McLeod, racing in the lane to his left, began to hit hurdles and crashed to the deck.

Defending world champion and Olympic gold medallist McLeod came tumbling across Ortega's path, clearly impeding him and forcing the exasperated 28-year-old to have to settle for fourth place.

Given his momentum was clearly slowed by the disruption - Ortega even had to palm away the out-of-control McLeod - the IAAF, athletics' world governing body, took a sympathetic view.

Following an appeal from Spain, the IAAF announced it would preserve the 1-2-3 from the race, which was won by American Grant Holloway, ahead of Sergey Shubenkov and Pascal Martinot-Lagarde, but award a second bronze to Ortega.

"Following a protest from the Spanish team, the jury of appeal decided that Orlando Ortega - who was obstructed by a fall from defending champion Omar McLeod - would also receive a bronze medal," the IAAF stated in an updated race report.

McLeod was disqualified from the race after his fall, punishment for having stumbled out of his lane.

Sebastian Coe says the IAAF is telling all athletes connected to Alberto Salazar to sever ties after he was banned for four years.

The United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) announced the suspension on Monday. Salazar and Dr Jeffrey Brown were sanctioned for "orchestrating and facilitating prohibited doping conduct while acting, respectively, as head coach of the Nike Oregon Project (NOP) and as a paid consultant for the NOP on performance enhancement and as physician for numerous athletes in the NOP".

Salazar worked with long-distance runner Mo Farah from 2011 until 2017. British star Farah won four Olympic gold medals during that period.

Two independent three-member panels of the American Arbitration Association (AAA) found Salazar and Brown "possessed and trafficked a banned performance-enhancing substance and administered or attempted to administer a prohibited method to multiple track and field athletes", while the panel also found that both "committed tampering and complicity violations".

The 61-year-old declared himself "shocked" at the outcome and outlined his plans to appeal.

However, IAAF president Coe, in quotes reported by The Guardian, said: "When you have been in the sport as long as I have, friendships and relationships can go back a long way.

"Alberto and I held world records at the same time. The charges laid by USADA were really serious and we are now in business mode.

"The Athletics Integrity Unit has already been in contact with those athletes and they are being asked to sever those relationships."

Asked how the punishment handed down to Salazar reflects on Farah, Coe replied: "Athletes have to have complete and total trust in their coaches and if they don't the relationship will fray.

"And if a coach is accused of something an athlete has to ask really detailed questions. You have to assume athletes do that."

 

Karsten Warholm retained his men's 400 metres hurdles title on what proved to be a good day for defending champions at the World Athletics Championships.

Norwegian Warholm rounded out Monday's schedule in Doha by holding off American Rai Benjamin to triumph in a time of 47.42 seconds.

Muktar Edris also made it back-to-back world golds in the men's 5,000m, while Mariya Lasitskene went one better in the women's high jump, triumphing for an unprecedented third straight time.

There was a surprise in the women's 800m, however, as Uganda's Halimah Nakaayi prevailed - with pre-race favourite Ajee Wilson having to settle for bronze - while Daniel Stahl claimed gold in the men's discus.

As for the 200m, a number of high-profile names pulled out of the women's event but men's favourite Noah Lyles had no issues in progressing to the final.

 

THIS MEANS WAR!

While the time was not fast enough to threaten Kevin Young's long-standing world record of 46.78s, a mark set way back in 1992, Warholm still produced an impressive performance to reign again at the end of a long season.

The 23-year-old set the pace in the early going and remained clear of the field, with Benjamin unable to reel him in during the closing metres. Qatar's Abderrahman Samba rounded out the podium places

"I actually felt my heart was going to stop. I thought I was going to die... but it's going to be worth it!" Warholm told BBC Sport in his post-race interview.

"Here I am - world champion. And I'm not dead either!"


HAT-TRICK HERO

Lasitskene created history as she once again ruled, in the process becoming the first athlete to win three successive world high jump titles.

The Russian, competing as an Authorised Neutral Athlete, wrapped up gold with a clearance of 2.04m at the first attempt, though she failed in an effort to set a new personal best at 2.08m.

Yaroslava Mahuchikh of Ukraine also made it over 2.04m at the third time of asking, the 18-year-old setting a world junior record as she claimed the silver medal.


DINA DAZZLES - LYLES ON TRACK

After a silver medal in the 100m on Sunday, Dina Asher-Smith set the fastest time in her heat in the women's 200m.

The British runner will have high hopes of claiming a gold after a number of leading contenders opted not to run at the distance, including Dutch defending champion Dafne Schippers.

Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce of Jamaica - who won gold in the 100m - was another leading name to withdraw, while Blessing Okagbare was disqualified after running out of her lane.

Lyles, meanwhile, laid down a marker by posting a time of 19.86s in the men's 200m. The American had silver hair for his heats on the previous day but will be out for gold in Tuesday's final. Ecuador's Alex Quinonez could be his main rival after impressing with a time of 19.95s.

Allyson Felix became the most decorated athlete in IAAF World Championships history as she helped the United States to victory in the mixed-gender 4x400m relay.

Felix was level with Usain Bolt on 11 gold medals at the event prior to Saturday's race in Doha.

But the 33-year-old, who became a mother in November, helped set up Michael Cherry to power clear on the last leg.

Poland - who decided to send their two men out first in an attempt to build up an unassailable lead - held the advantage until Cherry came into play, with Felix having run second.

Cherry simply had too much for the rest of the field, with Javon Francis claiming silver for Jamaica and Bahrain coming in third.

Christian Coleman revelled in being crowned the world 100 metres champion after sealing gold in Saturday's final in Doha.

The 23-year-old lit up the World Athletics Championships by recording the sixth fastest time in history, clocking an impressive 9.76seconds.

That effort saw him topple fellow American Justin Gatlin, who stood on top of the podium ahead of Coleman two years ago in London.

"World champion, it sounds incredible, too good to be true," said Coleman, who saw a case against him for reportedly missing three doping tests dropped by the United States Anti-Doping Agency earlier this month.

"For me to make it here and come out with a gold is incredible. I was just out of college two years ago and not many people expected me to win a silver. I expected to come out here and be great and upgrade my silver medal."

With the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo drawing ever closer, Coleman admitted he had allowed his mind to wander to thoughts of competing in Japan next year.

"It's hard to compartmentalise and not think about Tokyo – that's huge to go to an Olympics," he said.

"I will be expected to go there and medal but the work doesn't stop. Hopefully I can make the team."

At the age of 37, there are questions over whether this was Gatlin's last appearance on the global stage.

But, having run a time of 9.89secs to claim silver, the divisive sprint veteran was proud of his effort and revealed his plans to join Coleman in Tokyo.

"This season was a testament to my endurance and will," he said. "I had setbacks this season. I just wanted to stay focused on this race and give it all I got for this season.

"Christian has ran a spectacular season, great times. I couldn't say it was a shock that he would do a great job here. I had to hold on and stay strong in my technique."

Asked if he will be at the Olympics next year, he replied: "I'm coming. I'm going to be better. I'm ready."

Christian Coleman took World Athletics Championships gold in the men's 100 metres final with the sixth quickest time in history.

The American clocked 9.76seconds to get revenge on compatriot Justin Gatlin after finishing second to his rival in London two years ago.

Gatlin ran 9.89seconds, while Andre De Grasse was third in 9.90secs, but once again the action was played out against the backdrop of a largely empty stadium in Doha.

There were three other finals before the blue-riband event, with winners crowned in the women's hammer throw and 10,000m, and the men's long jump.

COOL COLEMAN IS DOHA'S SPRINT KING

Coleman went into Saturday's final as the clear favourite to win and never looked in danger of suffering an upset loss.

Quick out of the blocks and leading from the off, the 23-year-old set a world-leading time to secure the biggest win of his career.

His closest competition came from the divisive Gatlin who, at the age of 37, took silver as he surrendered his world title.

The top five – completed by Akani Simbine and Yohan Blake – all ran under 10 seconds.

 

GAYLE SEALS LONG JUMP TRIUMPH

Tajay Gayle's leap of 8.69m won him gold in the men's long jump, a full 30cm ahead of Jeff Henderson.

The Jamaican, who only narrowly qualified for the final, set a world-leading distance with his fourth attempt, which proved to be his last.

Olympic champion Henderson could only register 8.17m with his final effort, leaving him to settle for silver with a best jump of 8.39m.

Cuba's Juan Miguel Echevarria was third after posting a distance of 8.34m.

Dutchwoman Sifan Hassan prevailed in the 10,000m, with Ethiopia's Letesenbet Gidey and Kenya's Agnes Jebet Tirop rounding off the podium.

DeAnna Price sealed another gold for the USA in the women's hammer throw, with Joanna Fiodorow taking silver for Poland and Wang Zheng adding a bronze to China's medal tally.

USA CLAIM WORLD RECORD

The first world record of this championships went to America's mixed 4x400m relay team.

Tyrell Richard, Jessica Beard, Jasmine Blocker and Obi Igbokwe combined to run 3:12.42 on the event's maiden outing at this competition.

Jamaica came a close second, with Bahrain third.

Kevin Mayer has branded the World Athletics Championships in Doha "a disaster", citing the heat and a lack of fans.

The world champion decathlete did not hold back as he criticised the decision to award the event to the Qatari capital. 

Frenchman Mayer suggested it was only his "passion" for competition that prevented him from boycotting. 

"We can all see it's a disaster, there is no-one in the stands, and the heat has not been adapted at all," he said. 

"There have already been nearly 30 withdrawals in the women's marathon. It's sad.

"We have to leave reason aside and more concentrate on the passion, because if not I would have boycotted these championships.

"We haven't really prioritised athletes when organising the championships here. It makes it difficult."

The IAAF released a statement on Saturday insisting the local organising committee had "done everything possible to minimise the heat-related risks".

Ruth Chepngetich claimed her first major marathon championship, winning gold at the World Athletics Championships.

The Kenyan, 25, clinched the first gold of the championships in Doha, securing victory in two hours, 32 minutes and 43 seconds.

Chepngetich finished ahead of Bahrain's Rose Chelimo (2:33:46) and Namibia's Helalia Johannes (2:34:15) in gruelling conditions, the marathon starting around midnight local time.

Such were the hot and humid conditions, much of the field failed to finish as Chepngetich – last year's Istanbul Marathon winner – claimed the biggest victory of her career.

"I am feeling good. I am very happy and I thank God for my win," Chepngetich said, via the IAAF.

As for the conditions, she said: "It was not bad for me."

Two-time champion Edna Kiplagat, 39, finished in fourth.

Christian Coleman showed ominous form in the men's 100 metres heats on the opening day of the World Athletics Championships in Doha.

The American was the only man to run under 10 seconds on Friday and could have gone even quicker having jogged over the line in the closing metres.

Coleman, a silver medallist in London two years ago, is the overwhelming favourite to win gold in Saturday's final and will take some stopping on the early evidence.

Karsten Warholm and Rai Benjamin's began their battle in the men's 400m hurdles, while there was a moment of sportsmanship to remember in the men's 5,000m and a dramatic disqualification.


COLEMAN SETS THE MARK

Coleman, the fastest man over 100m this year, headed to Doha after a turbulent few months in which the US Anti-Doping Agency charged him over failing to "properly file his whereabouts information" after allegedly missing three random tests in 12 months, before withdrawing the case.

But the American, who insisted this month that he will never fail a drugs test, was clearly not distracted and ran 9.98 seconds in his heat.

Compatriot Justin Gatlin, the defending world champion who has gone under 10 seconds four times at the age of 37 this year, defeated Olympic 100m bronze medallist Andre De Grasse in his heat with a time of 10.06secs, while South Africa's Akani Simbine and Jamaican Yohan Blake were among the other winners.


WARHOLM-BENJAMIN SHOWDOWN ON COURSE

Last month Warholm ran the second-fastest 400m hurdles time in history in a thrilling race against Benjamin, with two men going under 47 seconds in the same contest for the first time.

The Norwegian will have designs on the world record, but Benjamin is ready to push his rival all the way. Both men cruised through their respective heats on Friday.


GOULE CRUISES THROUGH

Jamaica's Natoya Goule has designs on women's 800m gold in the absence of Caster Semenya, but Winnie Nanyondo set the fastest time in the heats. Ajee Wilson is also a Doha contender but will need to improve, having qualified 11th fastest.

As many as 17 athletes progressed from women's qualifying to reach Sunday's pole vault final, while eight women produced clearances of 1.94m in the high jump as 12 advanced to Monday's final.

In men's triple jump qualifying, Portugal's Pedro Pichardo produced an impressive 17.38m with his first attempt, setting a standard that went unsurpassed.


HIGHLIGHT: DABO LENDS BUSBY A HAND

Braima Suncar Dabo and Jonathan Busby were two names heading into Doha that were not recognised around the world.

But the sign of Guinea-Bissau athlete Dabo helping his struggling rival from Aruba over the line in the closing stages of their 5,000m heat is one that will last long in the memory.

In the other heat, Paul Chelimo was the fastest man overall and the Olympic silver medallist was in confident mood as his race concluded.

Even more impressive was the fact the Kenya-born American athlete finished the race with just one shoe!

But it was not a good day for teenage European champion Jakob Ingebrigtsen, who was disqualified from the 5,000m for stepping inside the rail.

Braima Suncar Dabo may not collect any medals at the World Athletics Championships but he will win the hearts of millions for an outstanding show of sportsmanship towards 5000 metres rival Jonathan Busby.

Guinea-Bissau athlete Dabo and Busby of Aruba are the only competitors from their respective nations competing in Doha and were well out off the pace in a heat won by Selemon Barega.

But the lasting image of the race will undoubtedly be the sight of Dabo aiding a struggling Busby in the closing 300m.

The intense Doha heat was noticeably causing issues for Busby as the race reached a conclusion and Dabo set aside his own efforts to help Busby – who was almost on his knees – over the line.

Dabo's time of 18 minutes and 10.87 seconds was the slowest in the field by almost four minutes, while Busby was officially disqualified – but their times counted for little in the context of their shared moment.

Caster Semenya has clarified she has not retired from athletics despite signing for South African football club JVW.

Semenya, a two-time Olympic 800-metre champion, signed for JVW this week and will be able to make her debut in the SAFA Sasol Women's League in 2020.

However, the 28-year-old insists she has not called time on her track and field career.

"Being a footballer doesn't mean I'm no longer a track and field athlete," she wrote on Twitter. "Just making things clear."

Semenya will miss the World Athletics Championships later this month after a Swiss court reversed prior rulings that allowed her to compete while she appealed against controversial IAAF regulations.

The South African is the defending women's 800m champion but will not take to the track in Doha.

Semenya had been granted permission to race without restriction after lodging an appeal with the Federal Supreme Court of Switzerland (SFT) against the Court of Arbitration for Sport's (CAS) verdict in her case against the IAAF.

CAS ruled the IAAF could implement a regulation that would require Semenya to take medication to lower her testosterone levels to take part in women's track events ranging from 400m to a mile.

In July, a judge overturned the SFT's decision to allow Semenya to compete while it assessed the case.

Caster Semenya has been denied the chance to defend her 800 metres World Athletics Championships title following a ruling by a Swiss court that has been welcomed by the IAAF.

The double Olympic champion had been given permission to race without restriction after lodging an appeal with the Federal Supreme Court of Switzerland (SFT) against the Court of Arbitration for Sport's (CAS) verdict in her case against the IAAF.

CAS ruled the IAAF could implement a regulation that would require Semenya to take medication to lower her testosterone levels to take part in women's track events ranging from 400m to a mile.

But on Tuesday a judge with the Swiss Federal Tribunal overturned the SFT's decision to allow Semenya to compete while it assessed the case in a move praised by the governing body of international athletics.

"The IAAF welcomes the Swiss Federal Tribunal's decision to revoke its Super-Provisional Order of 31 May 2019 after hearing the IAAF's arguments," a statement read.

"This decision creates much-needed parity and clarity for all athletes as they prepare for the World Championships in Doha this September.

"In the remainder of the proceedings before the SFT, the IAAF will maintain its position that there are some contexts, sport being one of them, where biology has to trump gender identity."

In her own response to the latest ruling, Semenya remained defiant.

"I am very disappointed to be kept from defending my hard-earned title, but this will not deter me from continuing my fight for the human rights of all of the female athletes concerned," she said.

Justin Gatlin believes American sprinters are ready to prove themselves as the fastest men in the world after Usain Bolt's retirement.

With Jamaican showman Bolt now off the scene, the 100 metres and 200m risk losing some of their lustre, but Gatlin sees an emerging generation of track stars jostling to take over at the top.

Americans account for four of the five fastest times over 100m this season and three of the four quickest in the 200m.

Christian Coleman, 23, owns the season-leading best time of 9.81 seconds in the shorter sprint, with fellow Americans Noah Lyles and Gatlin also dipping under 9.90secs.

The little-known Cravon Gillespie clocked 9.93 in Austin last month for a personal best too.

Doha will stage the IAAF World Championships later this year, and 37-year-old Gatlin will bid to defend his 100m title on the evening of September 28.

Asked whether USA can be the dominant sprinting nation, after years of Jamaican success, Gatlin told Omnisport: "I think so. It just takes a lot of the youth and the young athletes coming up and looking at what we have done in the past and having pride.

"[It's about] wanting that success and training themselves very hard to make Olympic teams, World Championship teams ... and I think it's on the rise from both sides, both the men and the women."

Bolt's last individual 100m race came at the 2017 World Championships in London, when the eight-time Olympic gold medallist could only finish third as Gatlin took the glory.

It was an unpopular victory for many, not least because Gatlin has served two doping bans, but Bolt notably jumped to his defence.

The post-Bolt era has yet to see any athlete threaten his world record of 9.58secs in the 100m, but Gatlin suspects a heightened competition for medals should again make the race unmissable in Qatar.

Assessing likely rivals, Gatlin said: "If we're looking at it right now, obviously potentially Christian Coleman, Noah Lyles, a lot of other young runners. I always give respect to the other runners that are going to be out there because a star is born at any moment.

"Anybody has an opportunity to put together a great race, and it might be their moment in 2019 in Doha to have the best race of their life.

"Guys are still running elite times. It's about the direction they're coming from. Usually you have one guy you can focus on, which was Usain, who was running fast times and you could focus on that.

"But now you've got Noah Lyles, Christian Coleman, anybody that's running fast times. So you always have to stay on guard and be ready for whoever's going to run fast and you have to be ready to run faster."

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