The International Triathlon Union’s Paratriathlon World Cup in Tokyo saw its swimming leg cancelled today, Saturday, August 17th, due to poor water quality at city’s Odaiba Marine Park. The E. coli bacteria found in a test conducted yesterday was reportedly two times higher than the limit set by the ITU.
Water quality in this area, the site of next year’s Olympic and Paralympic open water and triathlon events, has been an issue in the past. We reported back in 2017 how tests conducted on 21 days mirroring the scheduled dates of the Games revealed that day-to-day water quality at Odaiba varies significantly depending on weather conditions, particularly on whether or not it had rained.
As for the latest results at the Paratriathlon World Cup, a race which also doubled as a test event for the Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games, Managing Director of the Japan Triathlon Union, Shinichiro Otsuka, said at a press conference he was “sorry for disappointing the athletes by not preparing an environment for the swim, cycle and running (and wheelchair) contests.” (Kyodo News)
Per Kyodo News, Thursday and Friday, triathletes competed without hindrance in all three races of a World Triathlon Olympic qualifier — also part of this week’s test series on Tokyo’s waterfront — as water tests from the previous days were within limits.
We reported earlier this week how heat is also a concern for next year’s Games. The Tokyo 2020 Organizing Committee is testing new measures to keep people in a cool environment as fears grow regarding heat threat after 57 people have died resulting from heat-related illnesses between July 29th and August 4th. Among the deadly victims is an Olympics construction worker. You can read more about heat concerns here.