Want to Watch Olympic Track and Field in 2020? We Hope You Like Getting Up Early Before Work

By LetsRun.com
April 16, 2019

Today the IAAF released the track and field schedule for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

With Tokyo being 13 hours ahead of the Eastern Time Zone, it was never going to be ideal for diehard track fans in the US who want to watch the action live — though some of the track and field finals will be held in the morning in Tokyo, meaning they will be broadcast live in primetime in the US. However, because it’s going to VERY hot in Tokyo during the Olympics, none of the distance finals will be contested during the day (except for the marathons, which start super early at 6 am) All of the distance finals in Tokyo will be run at night, which means they’ll be on in the morning on the East Coast and in the early morning on the West Coast.

The finals that will be held during primetime in the US are events that Americans are normally pretty good at — men’s and women’s shot put, long jump, short and long hurdles, and the men’s triple jump (the US has the reigning Olympic champion in eight of those nine events). So Sydney McLaughlin will have a chance to shine in primetime. As mentioned above, both marathons will start at 6 am local, which will be 5 pm ET (the day before) in the US.

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If Noah Lyles or Christian Coleman become US sports stars, they’ll be doing it early in the morning.  The men’s 100m final is often the marquee event at a championship and it will be held at 9:50 pm in Tokyo on Sunday night which is 8:50am in the morning on the East Coast. The men’s 200m final is at 9:55 pm in Tokyo on Wednesday night which is 8:55 am in the US east coast time (5:55 in California).

Here are the finals that will be held in the morning in Tokyo (evening in the US). All times below are US Eastern.

Saturday, August 1, 2020
5 pm ET – Women’s Marathon Final
9:35 pm ET – Women’s Shot Put Final

Sunday, August 2, 2020
9:20 pm ET – Men’s Long Jump Final
10:50 pm ET – Women’s 100H Final

Monday, August 3, 2020
9:50 pm ET – Women’s Long Jump Final
11:20 pm ET – Men’s 400 Hurdles Final

Tuesday, August 4, 2020
10:30 pm ET – Women’s 400 Hurdles Final

Wednesday, August 5, 2020
10:00 pm ET – Men’s Triple Jump Final
10:05 pm ET – Men’s Shot Put Final
10:55 pm ET – Men’s 110 H Final

Saturday, August 8, 2020
5 pm ET – Men’s Marathon

All of the other finals (we’re ignoring the race walks) will be held at night in Tokyo, which means early in the morning in the US.

Here are the times of various distance finals for you.

Distance Finals at 2020 Tokyo Olympics (By Event)

Women’s 800 – 8:25 am ET – Tuesday, August 4th
Men’s 800 – 8:05 am ET – Wednesday, August 5th
Women’s 1500 – 8:50 am ET – Friday, August 7th
Men’s 1500 – 7:40 am ET – Saturday, August 8th
Women’s Steeple – 7:00 am ET – Wednesday, August 5th
Men’s Steeple – 8:15 am ET – Monday, August 3rd
Women’s 5000 – 8:40 am ET – Monday, August 3rd
Men’s 5000 – 8:00 am ET – Friday, August 7th
Women’s 10,000 – 6:45 am ET – Saturday, August 8th
Men’s 10,000 – 7:40 am ET – Friday, July 31st
Women’s Marathon – 5:00 pm ET – Saturday, August 1st
Men’s Marathon – 5:00 pm ET – Saturday, August 8th

Alternatively, here are the distance finals listed by day.

Distance Finals at 2020 Tokyo Olympic (By Day)

Friday, July 31st
7:40 am ET – Men’s 10,000

Saturday, August 1st
5:00 pm ET – Women’s Marathon

Monday, August 3rd
8:15 am ET – Men’s Steeple 
8:40 am ET – Women’s 5000

Tuesday, August 4th
8:25 am ET – Women’s 800

Wednesday, August 5th
7:00 am ET – Women’s Steeple
8:05 am ET – Men’s 800

Friday, August 7th 
8:00 am ET – Men’s 5000
8:50 am ET – Women’s 1500

Saturday, August 8th
6:45 am ET – Women’s 10,000
7:40 am ET – Men’s 1500

Saturday, August 8th
5:00 pm ET – Men’s Marathon

The full timetable is below.

Download (PDF, 90KB)

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