Olympics rocked by frightening moment as temperatures soar in Tokyo

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Svetlana Gomboeva, pictured here after collapsing at the Tokyo Olympics.
Svetlana Gomboeva collapsed in the Tokyo heatwave. Image: Getty

There were frightening scenes at the Tokyo Olympics on Friday when Russian shooter Svetlana Gomboeva collapsed due to oppressive heat.

Gomboeva fainted during a qualifying round as a heatwave in Tokyo pushed coaches and staff to huddle under trees for shade.

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

"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."

Svetlana Gomboeva, pictured here in action at the Archery World Cup in May.
Svetlana Gomboeva at the Archery World Cup in May. (Photo by Dean Alberga/Handout/World Archery Federation via Getty Images)

Gomboeva quickly regained consciousness but needed to be taken out of the arena on a stretcher by medical officers.

Later she said that she would resume competing.

"I feel okay, my head hurts a lot. I can and I will shoot," Gomboeva, who finished the round 45th among 64 archers, wrote in her Instagram story.

Andrei Zholinsky, chief doctor for the Russian Olympic team, said the cause was a sunstroke and they would change her hydration and rest regime.

Fans were stunned by the confronting scenes involving Gomboeva.

Athletes battle through heat at Tokyo Olympics

Temperatures peaked around 33 degrees Celsius in the archery dome on the first day of competition, with athletes facing challenges with hydration and staying cool.

Spectator stands at the Olympic archery venue were empty, with fans mostly banned from the pandemic-hit Games. 

But volunteers and venue staff were moving around to remind participants to wear masks and maintain physical distances, all while gathering under canopies and tree shades.

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

"I am excited it is not cold," said world champion Brady Ellison from the United States. 

He finished a qualifying round with the second top score among 64 men archers.

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," Ingley told Reuters after her competition.

"And drink water as much as possible."

with Reuters

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