Olympic race walkers had to fight through "brutal" conditions as temperatures climbed steadily during their 50-km race to top 30 degrees Celsius by 9 a.m. in Sapporo on Friday.

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) made the controversial decision in 2019 to move the marathon and race walk events north to Sapporo to escape the worst of Tokyo's summer heat.

But Sapporo was just as hot as Tokyo on Friday with the mercury hitting 35 degrees Celsius, according to the Meteorological Agency.