Tokyo Heat Tests Triathlon

(ATR) More may be needed to protect the health of triathlon athletes in Tokyo 2020.

(ATR) Tokyo 2020 may need to take extra measures to protect triathletes at the Olympics and Paralympics, the president of the International Triathlon Union tells Around the Rings.

Heat concerns led to a shorter distance for the running event. And in the test for the Paratriathlon, the swimming event was dropped over water quality issues.

"The weather conditions have been harsh, quite hot and humid, but all measures have been taken to protect the health and well-being of athletes," Marisol Casado tells ATR.

"The water and ice provisioning points during the tour have been substantially increased, medical resources have been increased, coaches have been allowed to provide fluids, towels and sponges to athletes at various points along the route.

"The test schedules have been advanced, to avoid competing in the hours where the impact of heat and humidity is greater.

"Our sports officers and directors constantly monitor the situation, and will never put the health of athletes at risk," says Casado.

She says "multiple meetings" will be held with organizers to review the situation now that the test events are concluded.

At the Olympic Games individual events are scheduled to begin at 7:30 a.m. and the mixed relay for 8:30 a.m.

Climatic conditions and the relief planned during Tokyo 2020 will be one of the major items on the agenda for the chefs de mission seminar thatopens today in Tokyo.

Regarding the water quality concerns that led to dropping the swimming stage of the ITU Paratriathlon World Cup August 17, Casado says new monitoring equipment triggered the response.

"Both ITU and the Organizing Committee of the Test Event and Tokyo 2020 constantly carry out water quality tests in the Bay of Odaiba. In the last week, ITU used a new portable laboratory there that allows sample results to be obtained in less than 12 hours,"she says.

"Every day the levels of E-Coli have been below the levels authorized by the regulations of the ITU except for the results of the tests on Friday 16. That led the Medical Delegate and the Technical Delegates to suspend the swimming," she explained.

Casado says next year a triple barrier will be used to filter the water in Odaiba Bay. She says only a single barrier filter was used for the test.

"It is a pity that the paratriathletes have not been able to compete in the test as it was conceived, in a triathlon format, but we will work with the organizers to minimize that risk," Casado says.

Casado, a former triathlete, has been ITU president since 2008 and an IOC member since 2010. She is a member of five IOC commissions including the Coordination Commission for Los Angeles 2028. She is also a member of the executive committee for Association of International Federations of Summer Sports.

After visiting Tokyo for the test event preparation , Casado traveled to Jamaica for a camp for athletes and coaches and competitions for boys and girls between 9 and 17 years old from 11 Caribbean islands.

Reported by Miguel Hernandez.