TOKYO (Nexstar) — After a cool start to the week following a tropical storm in Japan — things are starting to heat up in Tokyo. Not only is Track and Field getting underway, but the heat is back.
As athletes hit the track, NBC’s Dr. John Torres is keeping an eye on Tokyo’s dog days of summer.
“It’s not just the heat, it’s the humidity as well. That’s what makes what we call a wet-bulb temperature, very high, and that affects your body just existing, but on top of that if you start doing sports, and you push your core temperature up, you can start getting into a danger zone very, very quickly,” Dr. Torres said.
This week, we saw the hot temperatures take a toll on tennis players. One Russian player said he could die. Another player from Spain had to be wheeled off the court due to heatstroke.
Those ready to race for gold are mentally preparing.
“We were in Eugene, and it was like 108 when I was getting ready for the finals, but I kind of knew what it was going into it. I knew it was going to be hot. So I just felt like we had to do it, we have to do whatever we have to do to compete. It is what it is at the end of the day,” Athing Mu, Team USA runner.
“I think if you just accept that it’s hot, and everyone is in the same boat then it loses its power, so I know it’s going to be tough, but we’re all in the same boat, and the people who don’t allow it to get the best of them will be successful,” said Annie Kunz, who also runs for Team USA.
Dr. Torres says don’t underestimate the heat.
“You can’t be fooled, no matter where you are from in the United States, you are not used to what is happening here. This is very hot, very humid, and it’s pushing to your limits,” he explained.
Tennis organizers pushed back the matches to a later start time. Meanwhile, a lot of the big track and field races are already scheduled to take place late at night, which will hopefully help keep runners cool.