Olympics: Russian archer passes out under Tokyo's scorching heat

Competitors at the women's individual ranking round at Yumenoshima Archery Field in Tokyo, on July 23, 2021.
Competitors at the women's individual ranking round at Yumenoshima Archery Field in Tokyo, on July 23, 2021.PHOTO: REUTERS

TOKYO (REUTERS) - A Russian archer fainted in the Tokyo heat during a qualifying Olympic round on Friday (July 23) as a heatwave pushed coaches and staff to huddle under trees for shade.

Svetlana Gomboeva collapsed as she checked her final scores and required assistance from staff and teammates who put bags of ice on her head to cool her down.

"We hope that she will be okay. It turns out that she couldn't stand a whole day out in the heat," coach Stanislav Popov told reporters.

"This is the first time I remember this happening. In Vladivostok, where we were training before this, the weather was similar. But humidity played a role here."

Teammate Ksenia Perova said later that Gomboeva was recovering well and would be able to resume competition.

"Everything is fine with Sveta now," she said.

With temperatures expected to peak at around 33 deg C in the archery dome on the first day of competition, athletes had challenges with hydration and staying cool, as well as those posed by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Gomboeva quickly regained consciousness after collapsing but needed to be stretchered out of the arena by medical officers.

South Korea's Kang Chae-young, who came in third in the individual ranking rounds, said she had not experienced anything like Tokyo's heatwave conditions in other recent events.

Australia's Alice Ingley had some simple advice for her fellow competitors on how to beat the heat.

"Cooling vest, slushies, fans, umbrellas, just all that, just try to keep out of the heat as much as possible," she told Reuters after her competition.

"And drink water as much as possible."