Salem Radio Network News Monday, September 20, 2021

Sports

Olympics-Athletics-Tokyo dishes out punishing heat on scorching Sunday

By Amy Tennery and Daniel Leussink

TOKYO (Reuters) -As competitors battled for the podium on the third day of Olympic athletics on Sunday, it was Tokyo’s stunning heat that perhaps dished out the most pain.

Punishing conditions https://graphics.reuters.com/OLYMPICS-2020/SUMMER-HEAT/bdwvkogrzvm greeted the athletes as a trackside thermometer in the open, placed about 50 metres from the finish line, touched 40 degrees Celsius (104°F) and the humidity hovered around 60%, with sun beating down on the fan-free Olympic Stadium.

In the sweat- and heat-soaked media section, reporters donned wet towels as the women’s 3,000 metre steeplechase qualifier played out on the track, the event’s trademark water hazard appearing more enticing than ever.

The risks of heat-stroke https://www.reuters.com/lifestyle/sports/heatstroke-or-covid-19-similar-symptoms-could-confuse-olympics-2021-06-09/#:~:text=Similar%20symptoms%20could%20confuse%20at%20Olympics,-Ju-min%20Park&text=Shinji%20Nakahara%2C%20a%20public%20health,high%20temperature%2C%20dehydration%20and%20fatigue at one of the hottest Games on record are borne by the athletes, but also by the thousands of staff, especially at outdoor venues.

The Director General for the Games, Toshiro Muto, told reporters on Sunday 30 people involved in the organisation of the Olympics have suffered heat-stroke, but all had mild symptoms.

World Athletics spokesperson Nicole Jeffery said the timetable has been designed to hold endurance events in the evening when it is cooler.

“All athletes are provided with water and ice and the medical team is observing them closely to make sure no-one is showing signs of heat stress,” said Jeffery.

Jeffery added “cold water immersion facilities” were available for anyone suffering from heat.

The morning athletics programme saw China’s Gong Lijiao win the women’s shot put gold as qualifying rounds in the women’s hammer throw, long jump and men’s 400 metres took place.

After a midday break, the action was set to resume this evening with a packed agenda including the marquee event of men’s 100-metre final.

‘SO GOOD’

The Tokyo Games, from July 23 to Aug. 8, coincide with the year’s hottest weather in Tokyo where the temperature can rise to 35 degree Celsius (95°F) or more.

Battling stifling temperatures on Wednesay, tennis world No. 2 Daniil Medvedev warned officals a player “can die” in the heat. The sports’ governing body later agreed to delay match start times in response to similar complaints by other players.

Conditions at the unshaded pitch of the Olympic hockey stadium were sweltering.

In the first quarter-final between Germany and Argentina, which kicked off at 9:30 a.m., officials doubled the usual two-minute breaks between quarters to allow players to cool down.

Players from the Netherlands wore cooling vests for the warm-up before their clash with Australia that got underway at noon.

At the equestrian cross-country course, France’s Karim Florent Laghouag donned an ice vest, a wet towel and bags of ice around his neck when speaking to journalists after his ride.

“This is so good,” he said, pointing at the vest as temperatures climbed well over 30 degrees Celsius.

Organisers have deployed a host of tools – from mist-spraying stations to cooling vests – to beat the heat while handing out salt tablets and ice cream to volunteers.

Tokyo has also used roads that reflect heat or pavements that absorb water and the organisers moved the marathon and race-walk to the cooler northern city of Sapporo.

(Additional reporting by Mari Saito and Shadia Nasralla; Writing by Antoni Slodkowski; Editing by Himani Sarkar and Lincoln Feast.)

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