The unprecedented high levels of bacteria in the water followed by a series of difficulties over water quality and temperature that have been occurring recently have called for the cancellation of the test event for the swimming section of a paratriathlon for Tokyo 2020, AFP reported on Saturday, August 17th.
With less than a year to go until the opening ceremony, the organisers for Tokyo 2020 have been receiving wide praise for their preparation; however, all this have been cut short due to difficulties raised by extreme summer heat and poor water quality, which have brought headaches at practice events.
The International Triathlon Union (ITU) shelved the swimming leg after tests showed levels of e-coli more than double the acceptable standard. Moreover, Shinichiro Otsuka, managing director of Japan's Triathlon Union, expressed his apology for falling short on preparing the competition conditions effectively and regrettably, promising better preparations next Sunday.
Former British paralympic triathlete Clare Cunningham tweeted that Saturday's decision to abridge the race was "disappointing for all".
This comes after the French triathlete Cassandre Beaugrand was taken to the hospital for suspected heatstroke following the prompt finish to the women's triathlon that was cut short due to extreme heat in the Japanese capital on Thursday, August 15th.
Competitors at a marathon swimming test event on Sunday, August 11th complained of smelly water and high water temperature at Odaiba Bay, the location for long-distance swimming and triathlon events.
Organisers have been growing desperate but are keen to avoid the embarrassment of the 2016 Olympics in Rio, when the pool used for diving events turned an unsettling shade of green overnight due to sewer bacteria and filth with rubbish, for which the authority tried to accommodate for sailing and windsurfing, as Brazilian officials had to scramble their way to clean it up, according to AFP.