This year's Tokyo marathon will be restricted to elite athletes only due to the growing spread of the coronavirus within Japan.

The decision from the event's organisers will now place increased scrutiny on the Japanese capital city, which is scheduled to host the Olympics and Paralympics this summer.

A statement on the Tokyo Marathon 2020 website has confirmed that due to new cases of coronavirus in Tokyo, and despite the implementation of preventative safety measures, the organisers "cannot continue to launch the event within the scale we originally anticipated".

The March 1 event, in which almost 40,000 were due to take part, is to be "held only for the marathon elites and the wheelchair elites".

For other athletes registered, they are being allowed to defer their entry to next year's Tokyo marathon.