TOKYO, Japan, July 22 – As visitors grapple with the effects of COVID-19, Kenyan athletes who flown in for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics have grappled with the rising temperatures of the brutal Japanese summer.
The Kenyan beach volleyball player Brackcedes Agala aka Blackie and his trainer Sammy Mulinge found the situation rather difficult and this is due to the heat and humidity that reigns in the Japanese capital after the rainy season.
« The heat is too much and it’s so sunny here, that’s the situation we’re in, the weather conditions for beach volleyball, so we have to adapt quickly, » said Agala during the first training session on the training ground Shiokaze Park in Tokyo.
Gaudencia Makokha, the other player on the team, said for her part: “The humidity here is so high! It’s crazy! We try to adapt, the most important thing is to sleep early and drink plenty of water, if we don’t, it will challenge us during the competition. «
On Tuesday, the training day of the Kenyan beach volleyball team, the temperatures were up to 35 ° C.
Kenya Lionesses Skipper Philadelphia Olando in Kurume CIty. PHOTO / Alusa
Other Kenyan players who have raised concerns about the heat are the Kenyan Women’s Sevens.
“We had a good opening session, even as we try to acclimate to the weather here. It’s hot and humid, but I think the days we’ve been in Kurume will be the key for us to get used to everything here. We’ll definitely have to adjust to the weather because we’re here to compete, ”Skipper Philadelphia Olando told Capital Sport.
Her opinion is shared by Sinaida Aura who said, « One of the greatest qualities an athlete must have is adaptability and for us we have to adapt to the conditions here and be competitive. »
The hot weather has led the Kenyan team bench to hold one session a day instead of two in order to save the players’ energy ahead of the competition that starts here in Tokyo on Friday.
Meanwhile, some have said the players, especially rugby men (Shujaa) and sprinters, said it was an adaptable weather.
“The weather is not that bad, the boys like it, we thank the government and the Kenya Olympics for bringing us here early. The one week we spent in Kurume City helped us adapt well and the body is acclimatizing long before the USA opener on Monday, ”said veteran Shujaa player Willy Ambaka.
« The boys love the weather, it’s sunny, we get used to it and we get going, » said Jeff Oluoch.
The beach volleyball players who trained in Shiokaze Park complained that the sand was too hot for their feet, which resulted in staff hosing down the playing surface while the athletes waited in the shade.
The Olympic organizers have put in place measures to protect athletes from the worst effects of the heat, including cooling tents, mist fans and ice cream for volunteers.
The prediction was not unexpected, and the Games have already been dubbed « rings of fire » after a report in May suggested that the climate crisis and Japan’s hot summers could combine, with athletes being forced to endure conditions which are « too hostile » for the human body to function optimally.
Tokyo’s average temperature has risen 2.9 ° C since 1900, more than three times the global average.
When the games start on Friday, temperatures of 31 ° C are expected, which will then fluctuate around 30 ° C for the following week, with high humidity and thunderstorms forecast.
Rain is expected later in the week as Tropical Storm In-Fa is expected to turn into a typhoon by Tuesday night.
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