TOKYO – Russian archer passed out in the heat of Tokyo during an Olympic qualifying round on Friday as a heat wave caused coaches and staff to huddle under trees for shade .
Svetlana Gomboeva collapsed as she checked her final scores and needed help from staff and teammates who put ice packs on her head to cool off.
“We hope she’s fine. It turns out that she couldn’t last a whole day in the heat,” coach Stanislav Popov told reporters.
“This is the first time I can remember this. In Vladivostok, where we trained before, the weather was similar. But the humidity played a role here.”
Her teammate Ksenia Perova later said that Gomboeva was recovering well and would be able to return to competition.
“Everything is fine with Sveta now,” she said.
With temperatures expected to peak at around 33 degrees Celsius (91 Fahrenheit) in the archery dome on the first day of competition, athletes have had issues with hydration and coolness as well as those posed by the pandemic of COVID-19.
Gomboeva quickly regained consciousness after collapsing, but had to be hoisted out of the arena by medics.
South Korea’s Kang Chaeyoung, who finished third in the individual classification rounds, said she had not experienced anything like the Tokyo heatwave conditions in other recent events.
Australia’s Alice Ingley gave her competitors some simple advice on how to beat the heat.
“Cooling jacket, slushies, fans, umbrellas, just all that, just try to stay out of the heat as much as possible,” Ingley told Reuters after the competition.
“And drink as much water as possible.”