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Tokyo 2020 triathlon to start early to beat the heat

August 2, 2018
Hidemasa Nakamura
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Hidemasa Nakamura, games delivery officer of the Tokyo 2020 Games, speaks on the courses of the Olympic triathlon, mixed team relay and Paralympic triathlon in Tokyo Thursday, Aug. 2, 2018. The triathlon events at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics will be staged on the large man-made island of Odaiba in Tokyo Bay and will start early in the morning to counter the heat that is expected in the Japanese capital during the games. (AP Photo/Eugene Hoshiko)

TOKYO (AP) — Triathlon events at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics will be staged on the large man-made island of Odaiba in Tokyo Bay and will start early in the morning to counter the heat that is expected in the Japanese capital.

Tokyo Games organizers and the International Triathlon Union on Thursday revealed plans for the individual triathlons, mixed relay, and para-triathlons.

As with the marathon, the potential for scorching summer conditions factored into the plans. The triathlons will start at 8 a.m. instead of 10 a.m. as originally planned.

Japan is in the midst of a deadly heatwave, with temperatures topping 40 degrees Celsius (104 F). The heat has been blamed for 116 deaths.

The 1964 Games in Tokyo were held in October to avoid the harshest of the heat. That was before the Olympics schedule was influenced by rights-paying broadcasters and sponsors.

The heat isn’t the only concern.

Last year, E.coli concentrations were found to be 21 times above the accepted limit in the Odaiba area.

Fecal coliform bacteria were also detected.

Officials have blamed much of the problem on heavy rains last year, a surprise sanitation problem in a country known for cleanliness. The Tokyo Metropolitan Government has installed underwater screens in Odaiba and will study how they could prevent pollution from entering the competition area.

With the Rainbow Bridge and the Tokyo skyline as a backdrop, organizers say the triathlon venue will provide a dynamic urban atmosphere unlike previous Olympics.

“The location is perfect and it is incredibly exciting to be right in the heart of Tokyo at Odaiba Bay,” said Marisol Casado, president of the International Triathlon Union.

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