The swimming section of a paratriathlon test event for Tokyo 2020 was cancelled Saturday due to high levels of bacteria in the water, the latest in a series of difficulties over water quality and temperature.
Olympic organizers have won widespread praise for their preparations but extreme summer heat and poor water quality have brought headaches at practice events, with less than a year to go until the opening ceremony.
The International Triathlon Union (ITU) shelved the swimming leg after tests showed levels of e-coli more than double the acceptable standard.
The 70 paratriathletes instead competed in a duathlon format with two runs and a bike race.
“I’m so sorry for athletes that we could not prepare the competition conditions effectively,” Shinichiro Otsuka, managing director of Japan’s Triathlon Union, told reporters.
“It was regrettable,” he said, vowing to step up preparations for Sunday’s Mixed Relay.
Former British paralympic triathlete Clare Cunningham tweeted that Saturday’s decision to abridge the race was “disappointing for all”.
It was the latest setback at a test event for Olympic organizers after extreme temperatures women’s triathlon run was cut short due to extreme heat in the Japanese capital on Thursday, with French triathlete Cassandre Beaugrand was taken to hospital for suspected heatstroke.
Around a dozen competitors and spectators also fell ill at a rowing test event, also due to high temperatures, as Tokyo swelters through a deadly heatwave.
Competitors at a marathon swimming test event on Sunday complained of smelly water and high water temperature at Odaiba Bay, the location for long-distance swimming and triathlon.
Organisers are desperate to avoid the embarrassment of the 2016 Olympics in Rio, when the pool used for diving events turned an unsettling shade of green overnight.
Brazilian officials also had to scramble to clean up the bay used for sailing and windsurfing that was plagued by sewer bacteria and filthy with rubbish.
In October 2017, Tokyo 2020 organizers were left red-faced after tests revealed levels of e-coli bacteria more than 20 times higher than international standards, sparking doubts about the venue’s safety.
At the time, the organizing committee blamed prolonged summer rain that had brought pollutants from offshore for the high readings between late July and early September.
A year later, organizers said that tests using underwater “screens” to filter the water had successfully reduced bacteria levels at the venue.
“We will keep doing our best to secure a safe and sound environment for athletes towards the Games next year,” Tokyo 2020 spokesman Masa Takaya said Saturday.
Trump is now feuding with Iran’s Supreme Leader on Twitter: ‘Make Iran Great Again!’
President Donald Trump is now replying directly to Iran Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei on Twitter.
I Friday, Khamenei tweeted a screenshot of a Trump tweet, with a message of his own.
"The villainous US govt repeatedly says that they are standing by the Iranian ppl. They lie. If you are standing by the Iranian ppl, it is only to stab them in the heart with your venomous daggers," Khamenei posted.
"Of course, you have so far failed to do so, & you will certainly continue to fail," he added.
Trump retweeted the message, adding his own argument.
‘Contempt of Congress is illegal’ declared one of Trump’s newest attorneys – just days before the House voted to impeach
One of the lesser-known names on the new list of lawyers President Donald Trump approved to defend him during the Senate impeachment trial delivered a damning remark last month – damning for President Trump, that is.
"Contempt of Congress is illegal," said Robert Ray, who served as the final Whitewater independent counsel after Ken Starr.
The Washington Post's Paul Waldman and Greg Sargent report Ray made the stunning remark – one of the Articles of Impeachment essentially is contempt of Congress, or technically, obstruction of Congress – to The Daily Signal, a right wing website run by the conservative Heritage Foundation.
Trump raises tensions in Virginia as local authorities fear Richmond gun rally could be the next Charlottesville
President Donald Trump appeared to pour gasoline on a political fire in Virginia only days before a far-right protest that many are worried could result in violence.
Gun activists have been threatening civil war if the commonwealth's legislature enacts new gun safety legislation.