A tropical storm is going to hit Japan on Tuesday – and Olympic organizers are being accused of lying about extreme conditions
Rowing, archery and surfing events have already been moved ahead of the storm, which is the latest natural interruption to a showpiece that has pushed athletes beyond their limits in trying to exert themselves against the best in the world amid sweltering conditions.
Despite reports that intense rain, thunderstorms and gusty winds will batter Olympic venues, organizers have denied there is cause for alarm, with Tokyo 2020 spokesperson Masa Takaya telling the BBC that people "shouldn't be too worried" but should "maintain precautions".
Wind and rain were the least of the risks concerning Russia's Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, the French Open finalist who took to an air tube during a tennis medical timeout and was frustrated by a lack of ice.
Djokovic bothered by the heat in Tokyo: "You feel constantly dehydrated. There’s no circulation of the air. I don't understand why they don't start matches at 3:00 PM."— Luigi Gatto (@gigicat7_) July 25, 2021
Top male contender Daniil Medvedev seemed even less impressed, calling the temperatures among the "worst" he has experienced, labeling the amount of time afforded to players during changeovers a "joke", asking why matches had not been scheduled for later in the day and taking his shirt and shoes off as he tried to cool down. World number one Djokovic echoed some of his views.
Speaking after silver medal-winning archer Svetlana Gomboeva collapsed in a Tokyo heatwave last week, Russian Olympic bosses admitted that training in the heat of their homeland at this time of year could not emulate the demands placed upon stars in Japan.
Andrei Zholinsky, the chief physician of the Russian Olympic team, said that areas such as hydration, water, sleep and rest would be looked into.Also on rt.com Russian star Daniil Medvedev blasts Olympics tennis tournament a ‘joke’ as players grapple with sweltering conditions in Japan
All of which has produced a furious reaction from some, including bestselling author Dan Wetzel.
The columnist claimed that Japan's original bid for the Games had been based on a description of "many days of mild and sunny weather" in a period that "provides an ideal climate for athletes to perform to their best.”
"Japan knew it was lying," thundered Wetzel, adding that Tokyo moved the Games to October when it last held them, in 1964, in order to avoid the very drama that has been witnessed at times since the start of this edition.Also on rt.com ‘Leaving it all out there’: Norway triathlete THROWS UP after winning gold in Tokyo before being placed in wheelchair
"Not a single resident of Tokyo would describe mid-summer here as 'mild' or 'ideal.'"
The Olympic marathon event – one of a number of endurance feats, of which some have already seen competitors perform remarkably, given the blazing heat – has also been moved north to Hokkaido in an attempt to avoid temperatures of around 95 degrees.
With fans outlawed and Covid-19 concerns already making these Games arguably the most testing in history, the International Olympic Committee will be desperately hoping that Tuesday's storm does not provide further unprecedented disruption.Also on rt.com ‘My head hurts badly’: Ailing Russian archer speaks after passing out in fierce Olympic sun as coach blames heatstroke on humidity