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Women’s marathon at Tokyo Olympics: schedule, TV channel and how to watch it online

The marathon has been the capstone of the athletics program since the very first modern Games. Here’s all the info on how to watch the women’s competition.

The marathon has been the capstone of the athletics program since the very first modern Games. Here’s all the info on how to watch the women’s competition.

All is set for the start of one of the most iconic competitions of the Olympics - the marathon. But it's notable that women were not allowed to run the 26.2-mile race until the 1984 Summer Games.

Follow the women's marathon live

For Tokyo 2020, the International Olympic Committee (IOC), in October 2019, announced the marathon would be moving from from the host city itself to Sapporo.

Sapporo, which hosted the 1972 Winter Olympics, is more than 500 miles north of the Japanese capital, on the Japanese island of Hokkaido, where the temperatures are cooler.

Both women’s and men’s marathon races, with a distance of 42.195 km, will start and finish at Odori Park, Sapporo. Runners will tackle a three-loop race route after running two laps around the park.

The first large loop is about the length of a half-marathon, and then runners will face a second, shorter loop, which measures about 10 kilometers and must be completed twice.

The favorite in the women’s marathon is Brigid Kosgei, who is riding a four-marathon win streak, including her world record in Chicago in 2019. The 27-year-old Kenyan won London 2020 by more than three minutes and she has been the best in the marathon since late 2017.

What time does the Women’s Olympic marathon start?

The Women’s Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games marathon race gets underway at the Odori Park, Sapporo, on Friday 6 August 2021, with the start time having been brought forward one hour to 5:00 pm US (EDT) and 2:00 pm US (PDT).

The start is now 6am local time. The start was changed over worries about the heat, given that it's expected to be 29 degrees by 8am in Sapporo as the marathon is nearing its end (the women-only world record time is 2:17:01, set by Mary Keitany)

The marathon starts at 11:00 pm CEST and 10:00 pm UK time.

Where can I watch the marathon?

In the US, the women’s Olympic marathon will be televised on USA Network. If the coverage gets disrupted by another sport, you can also watch a dedicated live stream of the entire race via or the NBC sports app.

You will need to login to a cable provider to watch through the NBC digital platforms, so if you don’t have a cable or don’t have a cable login you can still watch a live stream of the event online via FuboTV, SlingTV, AT&TTV, Hulu with Live TV.

Women’s marathon: live AS English coverage

We'll have live coverage of the women's marathon in our dedicated Olympics feed You’ll also be able to follow live-text coverage of the women’s marathon right here at AS English. 


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