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A dozen fall ill due to extreme heat during Olympic test in Japan

/ 12:56 PM August 14, 2019

Most of the spectators for the rowing test event converge in the shaded portion of the grandstand at the Sea Forest Waterway on Aug. 7. The Japan News/Asia News Network

TOKYO — About a dozen people felt unwell due to the high temperature at a rowing test event for the 2020 Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games on Sunday, despite ongoing preparations for preventing heatstroke during test events nationwide.

The starting time of a marathon swimming test event was abruptly moved forward as a countermeasure against heat.

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The weather during the actual Games less than a year from now is a matter of concern.

A 52-year-old female company employee from Saitama who visited the Sea Forest Waterway in Tokyo Bay, where a test event for rowing competitions was held Sunday, said with a sweat-covered face, “I want to come watch Olympic races a year from now, but this extreme heat makes me feel even danger for my life.”

The Sea Forest Waterway was completed in May. But to reduce the construction costs, only about half of the grandstand with a capacity of 2,000 facing southeast is covered by a roof.

Temperature at places directly exposed to sunlight at the facility reached 33.7 C shortly before 10 a.m. on Sunday.

At the venue, officials of the Tokyo metropolitan government distributed cooling agents and set up tents made with thermal barrier materials for spectators who were waiting for buses.

However, one of the spectators displaying symptoms of heatstroke received medical treatment in a medical room.

According to the Japan Rowing Association, a total of 10 participating athletes said they felt ill, mainly during an awards ceremony that was held outdoors Sunday.

On the same day, a marathon swimming test event was held at Odaiba Marine Park in Minato Ward, Tokyo.

Due to the fear of rising water temperatures caused by the extremely hot weather, the starting time of the men’s race was moved forward from 10 a.m. to 7 a.m.

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According to the FINA international swimming federation, its regulations stipulate that races must be held in water temperatures of 31 C or lower. However, the water temperature at the test event venue had reached 29.9 C as of 5 a.m. on Sunday.

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TAGS: Asia, Health, Heatwave, Japan, Olympic Test, Olympics, Sports
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