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Olympic Athlete Collapses as Heat Climbs in Tokyo

Andy Berg

A scary incident at the Olympic qualifying rounds Friday illustrated why athletes will need to take precautions to guard against heat-related illness as temperatures in Tokyo are expected to peak at around 91 degrees.

Russian archer Svetlana Gomboeva collapsed as she checked her final scores. She needed the help of staff and teammates who put bags of ice on her to cool her down.

"It turns out that she couldn't stand a whole day out in the heat," coach Stanislav Popov told reporters, according to Reuters. "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."

Gomboeva regain consciousness after collapsing but needed to be taken out of the arena by stretcher. She later resumed competition.

"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 of Gomboeva’s collapse was sunstroke and that she would need to change her hydration routine going forward.

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.

Australia's Alice Ingley advised, "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.

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