Paralympics

Paratriathlon World Cup cancels swimming leg due to poor water quality at Odaiba Marine Park

KYODO

The swimming leg of the International Triathlon Union’s Paratriathlon World Cup in Tokyo, which doubles as a test of event for the 2020 Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games, was canceled Saturday due to poor water quality.

According to organizers, the amount of E. coli bacteria found in a test conducted Friday of the water at Tokyo’s Odaiba Marine Park was two times higher than the limit set by the ITU. The event was changed to a duathlon.

Japan Triathlon Union managing director Shinichiro Otsuka said at a news conference he was “sorry for disappointing the athletes by not preparing an environment for the swim, cycle and running (and wheelchair) contests.”

Water quality at Odaiba Marine Park has been a big challenge for 2020 organizers, evoking criticism from several international sports bodies in the run-up to the Tokyo Games.

A number of concerns about the water were raised at last Sunday’s open water swimming test event, including a bad smell.

On Thursday and Friday, triathletes competed without hindrance in all three races of a World Triathlon Olympic qualifier as water tests from the previous days were within limits.

Wakako Tsuchida won the women’s wheelchair class of Saturday’s event, while Mami Tani finished runner-up in the S4 category for para athletes with moderate impairments.