Tokyo 2020: Organisers trial snow to counter extreme heat expected in Japan

Snow might be the answer to the intense heat expected at the Tokyo Olympics next summer.

Around 300kg of snow was blown out on Friday as organisers tested a unique method of cooling spectators at Sea Forest Waterway.

But the five-minute trial might not have had the desired effect - with the temperature remaining exactly the same throughout the canoe sprints test event.

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Head of communication, command and control Takashi Okamura said: "The advantage of this machine is having a spray device to help the audience feel refreshed - and the amusement factor."

Fans were treated to snow in Tokyo - despite it being 25 degrees celcius. (Photo by Toru Hanai/Getty Images)
Fans were treated to snow in Tokyo - despite it being 25 degrees celcius. (Photo by Toru Hanai/Getty Images)

Although it didn’t work out precisely as planned, organisers confirmed at least another trial will occur before a decision is reached on the method.

Heat has been a consistent concern ahead of the 2020 Games with only half of the seats covered by a roof at the 1,000-spectator arena.

Fears escalated about that same venue in August after three athletes appeared to suffer from heatstroke at the world junior rowing championships.

The snow test took place at Sea Forest Waterway. (Photo by Toru Hanai/Getty Images)
The snow test took place at Sea Forest Waterway. (Photo by Toru Hanai/Getty Images)
Officials react to the snow at the test event (Photo by Toru Hanai/Getty Images)
Officials react to the snow at the test event (Photo by Toru Hanai/Getty Images)

After 2018 saw at least 65 people die from heat in a week, concerns have escalated over the 2020 event in Japan’s capital.

As a consequence, the marathon races have been moved to start at 6am to avoid the worst of the heat.

Ice baths and cooling sprays were in effect but deemed inadequate while snow is the latest innovation in an attempt to ensure the Tokyo Games are a success.

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