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Heatstroke concerns mount over 2020 Tokyo Olympic marathon

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I can't understand why they were so hell bent on having the games in July and August? The last time they were held here was in October, and everyone knows the weather then is almost perfect. Did they think they could get even more tourists during the summer vacation months? I've never heard a decent explanation for this. Also, wouldn't you want the games at a time different when many tourists are already coming, just to make even more money? I think the Olympics will scare away a lot of tourists with their high prices and crowded areas.

19 ( +19 / -0 )

@Mark

Nothing to do with arrracting more tourists. The NBC network reckons they'll get more viewers in the summer, hence they'll sell more advertising.

Follow the money; the athletes' well-being isn't a priority.

16 ( +17 / -1 )

In addition to the athletes, it is feared that elderly people, children and foreigners among the spectators could also suffer from heatstroke or heat exhaustion, Yokohari said.

It's easier to just write, all visitors could suffer.

14 ( +14 / -0 )

2020 Tokyo Olympics will become the most miserable Olympics ever due to the heat. Many will not finish the races and good records cannot be expected. Not only players but also spectators will have hard time. It is very strange if they did not discuss the heat and humidity of Tokyo in August when they decided it.

16 ( +17 / -1 )

Temperatures usually bottom out at 3:00 AM. Start the race then. Seriously - it's unconventional, but we're talking lives here.

19 ( +20 / -1 )

What with the heat, humidity and lack of oxygen, there are not going to be many records broken this Olympics.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

What with the heat, humidity and lack of oxygen, there are not going to be many records broken this Olympics.

Record of heatstrokes and related deaths.

12 ( +12 / -0 )

I hate walking from building to building at work in August. I would never want to run a marathon in it.

11 ( +11 / -0 )

I would worry more about spectators than professional runners, who know how to train and cope with hot weather. They will back off or even drop out if their bodies tell them to. And yes, the times will be slower, but a medal is still a medal whatever the finishing times are.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

Even in 1964 they had the common sense to schedule the Tokyo Olympics from October 10. As far as the Marathon, I suggest they move it to inside Tokyo Dome, where it will be air conditioned. They can just make 2,300 circuits from home plate to the outfield.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

Not only marathon runners, 50km & 20km walkers will also be at risk. A couple of weeks ago, some walkers (including a J guy) struggled in London's 'summer heat'. Not rare to see marathon runners and walkers collapse or appear in distress over the last few kms of a 2h to 3h30 race even in good/reasonable weather conditions.

A late start say around 9-10pm may be the least bad option at Tokyo 2020 (euros & us tv networks wouldn't mind that either).

7 ( +7 / -0 )

We all know that Mori and Co. suffer from severe senility, but it is impossible for me to fathom this had not crossed their minds until now. This is so much common sense that I figured they knew darn well about it and thought that it might increase Japan's chanes at medalling if the other nations' athletes were less use to it.

10 ( +10 / -0 )

The NBC network reckons they'll get more viewers in the summer,...

More precisely, the reason is because shifting it to spring or autumn would clash with other major global sports events, disrupting athletes' schedules or having events like Wimbledon overshadowed.

I dont why NBC would get more viewers in summer. Summer is a dead season for US TV, when people spend more time outdoors or away on holiday. TV is filled with re-runs and viewers wait for the new season to start in fall.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Duh? I knew that and didn't even read the article.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

Well at least they will plant more trees!

10 ( +10 / -0 )

If they are allowed to use refrigerant vest then no heat stroke.

-7 ( +0 / -7 )

If they are allowed to use refrigerant vest then no heat stroke.

Vests would add to the runners' weight so I doubt if any new world's records would be set.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Man up! If you can't stand the heat, get out of the kitchen. Want that gold? Work for it.

-9 ( +1 / -10 )

So radiation, expected m9 earthquake and heat exhaustion. Where do i buy a ticket

3 ( +4 / -1 )

It's not choice of Japan to host it in the hot summer months. It has more to do with European and US TV sports schedules.

In September the European football league starts as well as the final race for the MLB pennant race leading to the world series in which both will rake in more money than the Olympic games in their own region.

For Japan October is better since we don't have that much scheduled in terms of professional sports in Autumn.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

This is a huge joke. The Tokyo 2020 candidate file states clearly the climatic conditions, not exactly fitted to sports activities. For example (Table 2.1 Page 59), even at 21:00 :

Temperature - Average 25.9C, Maximum 28.1C

Humidity - Average 72.5%, Maximum 84.4%

The IOC has become so incompetent and uncaring of the athletes' health that they even forgot the wisdom they had back in 1964, when they had moved the date of the games to the 2nd half of October. And that was 53 years ago, before global warming and when Tokyo was not yet a huge heat island warmed up by millions of air conditioners !

We all know what the real reason is, of course. Shame on today's IOC for betraying their very mission, and smear Pierre de Coubertin's ideals.

9 ( +9 / -0 )

Triring: "It's not choice of Japan to host it in the hot summer months. It has more to do with European and US TV sports schedules."

Japan chose, plain and simple, despite some insisting it should be held around the time of the original Tokyo Games, when it was 4 degrees cooler than now in OCTOBER, but for viewership and other purposes they insisted on it being in August (also so that they could stand on stage and bring the atomic bombings to the forefront of the world -- which they recently decided not to given that it's not the best thing to talk about at ceremonies). Don't pin this on other nations, or else you are simply saying Japan has no spine and no common sense.

But here's how you get them to think about changing it, if it's possible. Point out that if other nations' athletes get heatstroke, which many will (and probably some Japanese, too), that it'll make Japan look bad and go down as a poor Olympic Games in the record books. THAT is about the only thing that would get them to rethink things -- image and how it could impact reputation, given the insecurities so many suffer.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Akio Hoshi, a professor of health science at Toin University of Yokohama, said the risk of summer heatstroke in Tokyo has escalated in recent years

What he means is that they knew it all along but have only now started to worry about it. Tokyo has been a baking oven in summer long before 'recent years'. Like the World Cup in Qatar, it's a case of win the bid first, worry about the intractable problems later. It's inhuman to run in that sort of heat.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

I think one factor that everybody is forgetting is the Paralympics. They have to be held in summer, too, and always start about two weeks after the Olympics end. So if the Olympics were held, say, from Oct 1-15, as many here are advocating, that would mean the Paralympics would have to be held from about Oct 30-Nov 10. I think that may be too cold.

Personally, I think Sept 1-15 for the Olympics and then Oct 1-10 for the Paralympics would have been ideal.

-6 ( +0 / -6 )

If the kids can plays sports in Japan's summer heat so can everyone else.

Scorching hot or freezing cold Japan will never change the date or time.

It's too much trouble.

-6 ( +3 / -9 )

They held the World Track and Field Championships in August a few years ago in Osaka. The HUMIDITY and heat was absolute hell on earth. Just by sitting and watching the events I think I sweated more than the athletes did.

The JOC and the IOC both knew all about this. Lots of people are going to be in some major discomfort and perhaps danger.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

Good planning indeed?

3 ( +3 / -0 )

In addition to the athletes, it is feared that elderly people, children and foreigners among the spectators could also suffer from heatstroke or heat exhaustion, Yokohari said.

Oh yes, sure, it's only the soft-as^tofu kids, oldies and gaijin who will give into the heat, but not the 18-60 year old proud sons and daughters of Yamato, who are as hard as flint and laugh at such heat and humidity. What a load of....

10 ( +10 / -0 )

So... neat games at the worst time for athletes, and fans, and most probably train delays and closures in the worst time too..

Get it together people..

Fast forward 3 years or so..

"Im sorry there is no excuse blah blah blah, the high rate of heat related issues were not considered deeply enough.. bow bow bow photos..."

7 ( +7 / -0 )

I do not get the argument that some are making about NBC? These Olympics are in Japan, NBC does not make the call on timing.

disrupting athletes' schedules or having events like Wimbledon overshadowed.

Huh? This does not make sense either, Wimbledon is in July and it was never considered for July, the Olympics that is... there would be no overshadowing either as in the Olympics tennis is a minor sport, not to mention there would be no schedule conflicts.

The only "major" sporting event that would be doubled over, during September or October would be the World Series

4 ( +5 / -1 )

And they've just thought about this now?

3 ( +3 / -0 )

It's not just the marathon that is risky for athletes and spectators.

Who thought it was a good idea to have the Games at the hottest time of the year?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Just move the Olympics to October (or April) and problem will be solved. Of course a lot of people will suffer from extreme heat and humidity because the selected dates are the hottest time of the year in Japan and people tend to stay at home under AC. Heatstroke danger is real!

3 ( +3 / -0 )

The Tokyo Marathon is annually held in late February for a reason.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Henry K,

If the kids can play sports in Japan's heat, so can everyone else.

Plus, only a few kids die so what's the problem? (/sarcasm)

8 ( +8 / -0 )

It's not choice of Japan to host it in the hot summer months. It has more to do with European and US TV sports schedules. In September the European football league starts as well as the final race for the MLB pennant race leading to the world series in which both will rake in more money than the Olympic games in their own region.

Yet Sydney2000 were held between 15-30 Sept and are widely considered to be one of the most successful Olympics ever. Most euros and north Americans are away on vacation between 15 July & 15 Aug and don't watch as much tv. Olympics held on euro soil in Aug still rate ok for obvious reasons but it's a different story for APAC Olympics as all morning/early arvo events take place in the wee hours (of the night & morning). 

Plus I just don't think Japan and especially Tokyo is at its best in summer (unlike many other countries/cities). Olympics are a great opportunity to showcase the beauty of your city, the sites, rivers/beaches etc. Not that great when it's hot/sticky/cloudy/rainy. What do I remember of the Nagano winter games? Fog, cancelled events and so on. Tokyo 2020 in July is a massive gamble (still hope they pull it off though).

2 ( +2 / -0 )

I think one factor that everybody is forgetting is the Paralympics. They have to be held in summer, too

Why?

that would mean the Paralympics would have to be held from about Oct 30-Nov 10. I think that may be too cold.*

First half of November - top temperature around 20 degrees, dropping to about 10 degrees in the small hours. Sounds ideal.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Really? It hadn't even occurred to me that heat and humidity in Aug might be problematic.

great observation from the 2020 organising team!

go Mario!

2 ( +2 / -0 )

For Japan October is better since we don't have that much scheduled in terms of professional sports in Autumn.

The Japan Series kicks off in the baseball-mad country and there is NO WAY the Olympic committee here would want to interfere with the JPBL.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

HenryK: "if the kids can do it..."

thousands get heatstroke every year... THOUSANDS. Why do you think the moved "Sports Day" in many cases to May/June?

Maybe you should be asking, "If they changed Sports Day, why not the Olympics? Or at least, why didn't they think about it to begin with?

4 ( +4 / -0 )

The back up plan (and my hope) is to switch the marathon route to Hokkaido......along with other road events. :-)

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Deception about Tokyo Olympics is not only Radiation Leaks.

Tokyo Olympics Committee told lies when Olympics bid.

They had insisted that "July~August of Tokyo is temperate climate" to the world.

but Real state of Japan in summer is in too much heat and humidity.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

A trained "Marathon" runner should be able to run in all conditions and complete the distance because the symbolic origin is of a messenger delivering a message. Today they (we) have the luxury of aid stations but otherwise things should remain the same. If I was still competing and was selected I wouldn't complain at all. The run from Hiroshima to Nagasaki used to start at 12 noon August 6.

However great care should be taken for the spectators.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

And if there's a Typhoon on the day of the Marathon, then what ? I doubt that heat exhaustion would be on the top of the concern list... the weather that far in advance cant be predicted, so lets just see what happens.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

@mmw

Yeah, there might be a meteor strike or a North Korean missile attack.

But my money's on a few cases of heat stroke....

2 ( +2 / -0 )

The wisdom in '64 to move the date to October continues.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I've got a bad feeling about this !

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Just think about all the time, money and efforts that could have been saved if those idiots would just read JT comments. I am almost positive we were saying the same thing before and after Japan was chosen to host the games.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

All my Japanese friends agree having these games during the hottest and most uncomfortable time of the year is a grave and stupid mistake. But who will have the courage to change the schedule? No one, because it's the economy stupid. The human suffering is irrelevant and conveniently ignored. Whose sport is that really?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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