Where EAST meets the Northwest
TRYING TRIATHLON. Mexico’s Cecilia Perez, center, collapses after competing
in a women’s triathlon test event at Odaiba Marine Park, a venue for marathon
swimming and triathlon at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, on August 15, 2019, in Tokyo.
Tokyo’s summer heat forced the Olympic women’s triathlon qualifying event to be
shortened because of high temperatures that are likely to plague next year’s
games. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
From The Asian Reporter, V29, #16 (August 19, 2019), page 10.
Tokyo’s summer heat forces triathlon test to be shortened
By Stephen Wade
The Associated Press
TOKYO — Tokyo’s summer heat has forced an Olympic women’s triathlon
qualifying event to be shortened because of high temperatures that are likely to
impact next year’s games.
The International Triathlon Union (ITU) reduced the running portion of the
triathlon from 10 kilometers to 5 kilometers because temperatures fell within
what it termed "extreme levels."
"There was full consensus on all parties for the decision of the ITU medical
delegate and ITU technical delegates to shorten the run distance to 5km,
considering the athletes’ health," the ITU said in a statement.
Tokyo’s hot and humid summers are a major worry for organizers of next year’s
Olympics, which open July 24. Temperatures routinely hover around 90º
Fahrenheit, which was the level that day with a forecast as high as 97º F.
The race began at 7:30am local time.
This was not a problem during the 1964 Tokyo Olympics, which were held in
October. The schedule and demands of television force the midsummer schedule
"The ITU informed Tokyo 2020 that a comprehensive review is necessary soon
after the competitions," Tokyo organizing committee’s Masa Takaya said. "In this
respect, we will continue to work closely together with the team."
Jess Learmonth and Georgia Taylor-Brown of Britain were disqualified for
trying to intentionally tie in first place. The event was an Olympic qualifier
for some countries.
The governing body, the ITU, described water quality conditions at the venue
as "very good" in Tokyo Bay.
Swimmers at a recent distance swim event, held at the same venue as the
triathlon, complained of foul smelling water.
Dirty water was a major problem at the last Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, with
open-water venues testing high for viruses and bacteria because much of Rio does
not have a functioning sanitation system.
"There are no concerns at all about the water quality in Odaiba Bay," the ITU
said in a statement.
The water temperature, however, was very warm. The ITU reported it at 86.5º
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