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Tokyo 2020 Olympics

Mizuno weighs early shoe launch as ultra-thick soles escape ban

Japanese company eyes Olympics berth after rules defuse Nike's Vaporfly controversy

Eliud Kipchoge, third from right, ran the world's first-ever sub-two-hour marathon in Nike Vaporfly shoes.   © Reuters

OSAKA -- Japan's Mizuno is considering moving up the launch of its new running shoes to ensure they can be used in this summer's Tokyo Olympics, after new rules prompted by controversial Nike models cleared up questions about what technology is allowed.

World Athletics set new limits on Jan. 31 that stopped short of banning Nike's ultrathick-soled Vaporfly line, which has all but taken over the long-distance running world. The Vaporfly has broken a string of world records, sparking rumors that it could be banned for the Olympics. A prototype version -- barred under the new rules -- helped Kenyan runner Eliud Kipchoge run the first-ever sub-two-hour marathon.

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