Tokyo Olympics: Extreme Heat & Humidity At Games As Russian Archer Faints

A Russian archer fainted during Olympic qualifying as intense heat in Tokyo was in the spotlight just hours before the Games officially open.

Svetlana Gomboeva, 23, collapsed while checking her scores. She regained consciousness and left on a stretcher.

Earlier this week experts said Tokyo’s heat and humidity could pose a significant threat to competitors.

The Japanese Environment Agency has issued heatstroke alerts, warning the public not to exercise outside.

“It turns out that she couldn’t stand a whole day out in the heat,” said Russian Olympic Committee coach Stanislav Popov.

“This is the first time I remember this happening. In Vladivostok, where we were training before this, the weather was similar. But humidity played a role here.”

With temperatures of around 33C in the archery dome on the first day of competition on Friday, athletes had challenges with hydration and staying cool, while support staff huddled in shaded areas.

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There have also been reports of beach volleyball players complaining that the sand is too hot for their feet and officials having to hose down the courts.

When the Olympic games were last held in Tokyo, in 1964, they were pushed back to autumn to avoid high temperatures.

This time around, the marathon and race-walking events have been moved to the cooler city of Sapporo, while a range of other measures, including mist-spraying stations for Olympic horses and cooling vests for referees, have been employed to help reduce the risks to athletes.

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