Olympic Swimming Marathon: Tokyo Olympic to increase water quality efforts to ensure athlete safety at Summer Games

Water quality tests at Odaiba Marine Park in July and August showed that with the exception of one day in a 12-day test event period, the use of underwater screens reduced the number of coliforms inside screened areas within the stipulated guidelines set out by International Federations.

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Olympic Swimming Marathon: Tokyo Olympic to increase water quality efforts to ensure athlete safety at Summer Games
Olympic Swimming Marathon: Tokyo Olympic to increase water quality efforts to ensure athlete safety at Summer Games

The Park is due to stage the Tokyo Olympic marathon swimming and triathlon events next year and the surveys found that the levels of enterococci bacteria were within the agreed limits. Additional tests were sought when the swimming section of the triathlon test event for next year’s Summer Games in Tokyo was canceled in August because of high levels of E. coli bacteria found in the water.

Owing to rainfall, levels outside the screened areas exceeded the targeted levels on four days. To further improve conditions during Games time, Tokyo Olympic plans to deploy triple-layer underwater screens. Using the same testing period, Olympic 2020 found that the recommended maximum water temperature of 31 Celsius was not exceeded in any test zone.

The maximum temperature recorded was 30.8 Celsius as temperatures inside screened areas were recorded at an average of 0.8 Celsius higher than those recorded outside. As well as installing triple screens, underwater screens will be used to prevent water temperature rises.

Olympic Swimming Marathon: Tokyo Olympic to increase water quality efforts to ensure athlete safety at Summer Games
Olympic Swimming Marathon: Tokyo Olympic to increase water quality efforts to ensure athlete safety at Summer Games

In collaborating with Tokyo Metropolitan Government, Summer Games will also continue to analyze the causes of poor water quality and odors and review methods for ensuring appropriate water quality and temperature with experts.

The start time of the events at Odaiba Marine Park is also being considered for an earlier start time and a final decision will be taken at the International Olympic Committee’s Executive Board meeting due to take place in Lausanne between December 3 and 5.

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