Maurice Wilson, Jamaica’s track and field head coach to the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, said that despite “extremely hot” conditions, Sunday’s (25 July) first training session was productive.
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The team, which arrived in Tokyo three days ago, was only allowed to use the training facilities on Sunday.
Wilson described the morning session workout as “successful.”
“The athletes participated well, we left the track, and everybody was okay, and so we are looking forward to having similar days, based on what transpired today,” he said.
The Jamaicans, like many other sports stars, have spoken about the weather factor in Tokyo.
“The only additional factor, I think, is the heat. It is extremely hot, so we must encourage the athletes to stay hydrated.”
The Tokyo Games is estimated to be the hottest in decades. It has forced organizers to reschedule matches and push events to the early morning hours or dusk to avoid the scorching sun.
Serbian Novak Djokovic, the world’s number one tennis player, described the humidity as “brutal” after beating Bolivian Hugo Dellien 6-2 6-2 in the first round.
“It was the hottest day so far. Humidity is brutal. It’s certainly hot but also humid, the hard courts absorb the heat, and it stays trapped in there. There was not much wind, not much breeze.”
Women’s sprints to highlight Tokyo 2020
The women’s sprints are the most highly anticipated events for Jamaica with Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, Elaine Thompson-Herah, and Shericka Jackson.
Fraser-Pryce is the world leader in both events, with personal best times of 10.63 and 21.79. Thompson-Herah is the defending sprint double champion from Rio 2016.
Jackson, a known 400m specialist, stepped down this year to set herself up with times of 10.77 and 21.82.
Great Britain’s Doha 2019 world 200m champion Dina Asher-Smith will add fire to the mix. Shaunae Miller-Uibo, who is likely to skip the 400m for which she is the reigning champion, adds more speed to the 200m.
Shanieka Ricketts, Yohan Blake, Fedrick Dacres, Stephenie-Ann McPherson, Daniel Thomas-Dodd and world long jump champion Tajay Gayle are Jamaica’s best chances for medals.
Track and field at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games starts on 29 July (Jamaica time) at 7:00 pm