Qatar fiasco: Athletes lose cool over heat

Qatar fiasco: Athletes lose cool over heat
Japan's Yuki Hashioka competes in the long jump qualification at the World Championships. (Reuters)

Doha - French race walker Yohann Diniz on Friday slammed the organisers over the way he and his rivals in the 50-kilometre event have been treated



By Reuters/AFP

Published: Fri 27 Sep 2019, 11:47 PM

Last updated: Sat 28 Sep 2019, 1:53 AM

Some competitors at the world athletics championships that began on Friday have already encountered their most challenging opponent: the sweltering Qatari heat.
With its suffocating humidity and daytime temperatures hovering around 38 degrees Celsius, Doha weather has been widely discussed among athletes and athletics officials and seen as a cause for concern in some events.
Those competing on the road in the marathon and walking races will begin their events in the middle of the night to minimise the heat's harmful effects.
Although the heat is less of a threat to the athletes competing inside the Khalifa International Stadium, where temperatures are kept at around 21 degrees with the help of a cooling system, they have still had to adjust their training because they practise at an outdoor facility.
"We are from a hot climate as well, but nothing to compare with this," Bahamian coach Ronald Cartwright said.
"Here you walk outside and it's like somebody put a heater on you. I guess that is why they are doing it at night."
The IAAF, the global governing body of athletics, said the women's marathon, scheduled to start at midnight on Friday, would go ahead as planned as temperatures would be at or below 30 degrees.
It said its medical delegate had assured athletes that weather conditions would be monitored all day and reported to the teams "to ensure the event is run at an acceptable level of health risk."
But French race walker Yohann Diniz on Friday slammed the organisers over the way he and his rivals in the 50-kilometre event have been treated compared to the other athletes.
The 41-year-old Frenchman - who is the world record holder and defending world champion in the event - said at a press conference on the eve of the men and women's 50km walk the walkers had been taken for "idiots" by the organisers in the Qatari capital.
"I am disgusted by the conditions," the Frenchman said.
"I have come here in top form but there are plenty of things which could prevent me from performing at a good level.
"All the athletes will start (at 2030GMT) but being outside the stadium they take us for idiots.
"It really annoys me and I am regretting being here.
"We are going to start and finish in the equivalent of Dante's Inferno-type conditions."
Diniz said he would not be walking tactically as there was no point. 
 


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