Tokyo Olympics: Early typhoon threat to Games

Powerful Typhoon Hagibis hit Japan in 2019, forcing the cancellation of three games at the Rugby World Cup because of safety concerns. Picture: STUFF SPORTS.

Weather experts are monitoring a developing typhoon that is threatening to affect the Tokyo Olympics.

United States meteorologist Eric Holthaus shared a radar image of an incoming typhoon to the south-east of Tokyo, warning it could hit the Japanese capital by the end of the weekend.

With the storm in its infancy, accurate trajectory predictions are difficult, but it is certainly a potential threat.

The western Pacific is the most active basin in the world for typhoons, and they regularly hit Japan, some with deadly consequences.

The 2019 Rugby World Cup was held in Japan and, for the first time, the tournament was forced to cancel matches, as Typhoon Hagibis descended with fury. Three games were called off, including New Zealand’s final pool match against Italy.

This week’s building storm has surfers excited at its potential to provide decent sized waves for the sport’s Olympic introduction, to be held at Tsurigasaki Beach, in Chiba, south-east of the capital on the Pacific coast.

The late July and early August weather will impact the Olympics in other ways, too.

Japan is experiencing tropical conditions and temperatures over 30 degrees Celsius are expected throughout the Games that will test the fitness of all athletes.

The hot conditions have been anticipated.

In 2019, the International Olympics Committee took the precaution of moving the marathon, and race-walking events to Sapporo where some football matches are also being played.

Sapporo is about 800km north of Tokyo and can be as much as 5 degrees Celsius cooler.

New Zealand athletes have used saunas and heat chambers to help them prepare for the heat.


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