The start times of the Tokyo Paratriathlon World Cup taking place on August 17th have been moved one hour earlier, to avoid having the athletes exposed to high temperatures. With Saturdays paratriathlon events happening over one day, rather than the two days of the 2020 Paralympic Games, there are also more races to consider within the schedule. PTVI classes will start now at 6.30am, while the Wheelchair athletes will commence at 7.00 am and the standing classes at 7.45 am. All athletes will now have finished their competition before 9.30 am.
The decision has been taken by the ITU Technical Delegates, along with the ITU Medical Delegate, and is one of several measures planned for the four days of Tokyo Olympic Qualification test events to mitigate the summer temperatures and humidity in the Japanese capital.
According to the weather forecast for this week, Saturday’s air temperature is expected to reach 30 degrees Celsius and the heat stress indicator will be on orange level (high risk) at 9am in the purpose-built Odaiba Park course - the very site that will host the triathlon events at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games -.
ITU and the Tokyo Olympic Games Organising Committee (TOGOC) have prepared a series of important changes to the standard race set up to ensure the health and safety of all athletes.
Among the most important changes will be the addition of extra water stations on the run course, air-conditioned athletes’ areas both pre- and post-competition, revised heat stress protocols, with specially trained personnel added to the technical teams and trained medical personnel stationed every 500m along the 10km run course.
Further rule changes designed to aid pre-race preparations will allow athletes to wear cooling vests until their official introduction and their coaches to place cold or frozen water onto bikes between the athletes’ introductions and the start of the race. To help with mid-race comfort, special paint is used for the road pavement to reduce heat reflection on the Field of Play and athletes will be allowed to rest in designated cooling zones.
During the races, coaches will be allowed to provide nutrition in designated coaches area on the bike and run course, and littering zones have been removed so no penalties will be applied.
Among other measures, additional shaded areas will be available for athletes after the races, and it has been planned quick medal ceremony and athlete’s introduction to reduce the heat exposure as much as possible.
ITU has currently updated the “ITU exertional heat illness prevention guidelines” considering the “IOC Plan for Heat Countermeasures at the Tokyo OG 2020” and its event organizers’ manual regarding the contingency plans for racing that are taking place in extreme heat conditions.
The schedule for the whole event will be as follows:
-Elite Women. Thursday, August 15th, 7.30am
-Elite Men. Friday, August 16th, 7.30 am
-Paratriathlon. Saturday, August 17th. 6.30am
-Mixed Relay. Sunday, August 18th, 8am