A French athlete was taken to hospital for suspected heatstroke after the women's triathlon Olympic test race in Tokyo on Thursday. It has shown that Tokyo's severe summer heat may be a major obstacle for athletes to compete in the 2020 Games.
In Thursday's event, the running segment of the race had been cut to half due to heat concerns.
Organizers took the step under guidelines of the triathlon's world governing body as the "heat index" was expected to hit 32 degrees Celsius. This is the threshold to suspend sporting activities in principle to prevent heatstroke.
The participants swam 1.5 kilometers, rode a bicycle for 40 kilometers, and ran 5 kilometers during the daytime on Thursday.
Organizers increased water stations for the running stage and installed equipment to spray mist to help cool the athletes, but the measures apparently were not enough.
Test events for the triathlon are being held in Odaiba Marine Park and its vicinity for four days starting on Thursday. Top athletes from Japan and abroad are taking part because the races also serve as Olympic qualifiers.