Tokyo 2020 Olympic triathlon to start early to beat the heat

AP
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TOKYO (AP) — Triathlon events at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics will be staged on the large man-made island of Odaiba in Tokyo Bay and will start early in the morning to counter the heat that is expected in the Japanese capital.

Tokyo Games organizers and the International Triathlon Union on Thursday revealed plans for the individual triathlons, mixed relay, and para-triathlons.

As with the marathon, the potential for scorching summer conditions factored into the plans. The triathlons will start at 8 a.m. instead of 10 a.m. as originally planned.

Japan is in the midst of a deadly heatwave, with temperatures topping 40 degrees Celsius (104 F). The heat has been blamed for 116 deaths.

The 1964 Games in Tokyo were held in October to avoid the harshest of the heat. That was before the Olympics schedule was influenced by rights-paying broadcasters and sponsors.

The heat isn’t the only concern.

Last year, E.coli concentrations were found to be 21 times above the accepted limit in the Odaiba area.

Fecal coliform bacteria were also detected.

Officials have blamed much of the problem on heavy rains last year, a surprise sanitation problem in a country known for cleanliness. The Tokyo Metropolitan Government has installed underwater screens in Odaiba and will study how they could prevent pollution from entering the competition area.

With the Rainbow Bridge and the Tokyo skyline as a backdrop, organizers say the triathlon venue will provide a dynamic urban atmosphere unlike previous Olympics.

“The location is perfect and it is incredibly exciting to be right in the heart of Tokyo at Odaiba Bay,” said Marisol Casado, president of the International Triathlon Union.

MORE: 49-year-old Olympic champion plays first event in 10 years

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Olympian Derrick Mein ends U.S. men’s trap drought at shotgun worlds

Derrick Mein
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Tokyo Olympian Derrick Mein became the first U.S. male shooter to win a world title in the trap event since 1966, prevailing at the world shotgun championships in Osijek, Croatia, on Wednesday.

Mein, who grew up on a small farm in Southeast Kansas, hunting deer and quail, nearly squandered a place in the final when he missed his last three shots in the semifinal round after hitting his first 22. He rallied in a sudden-death shoot-off for the last spot in the final by hitting all five of his targets.

He hit 33 of 34 targets in the final to win by two over Brit Nathan Hales with one round to spare.

The last U.S. man to win an Olympic trap title was Donald Haldeman in 1976.

Mein, 37, was 24th in his Olympic debut in Tokyo (and placed 13th with Kayle Browning in the mixed-gender team event).

The U.S. swept the Tokyo golds in the other shotgun event — skeet — with Vincent Hancock and Amber English. Browning took silver in women’s trap.

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Mo Farah withdraws before London Marathon

Mo Farah
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British track legend Mo Farah withdrew before Sunday’s London Marathon, citing a right hip injury before what would have been his first 26.2-mile race in nearly two years.

Farah, who swept the 2012 and 2016 Olympic track titles at 5000m and 10,000m, said he hoped “to be back out there” next April, when the London Marathon returns to its traditional month after COVID moved it to the fall for three consecutive years. Farah turns 40 on March 23.

“I’ve been training really hard over the past few months and I’d got myself back into good shape and was feeling pretty optimistic about being able to put in a good performance,” in London, Farah said in a press release. “However, over the past 10 days I’ve been feeling pain and tightness in my right hip. I’ve had extensive physio and treatment and done everything I can to be on the start line, but it hasn’t improved enough to compete on Sunday.”

Farah switched from the track to the marathon after the 2017 World Championships and won the 2018 Chicago Marathon in a then-European record time of 2:05:11. Belgium’s Bashir Abdi now holds the record at 2:03:36.

Farah returned to the track in a failed bid to qualify for the Tokyo Olympics, then shifted back to the roads.

Sunday’s London Marathon men’s race is headlined by Ethiopians Kenenisa Bekele and Birhanu Legese, the second- and third-fastest marathoners in history.

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