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Road to Tokyo 2020: Water Pollution Remains Major Challenge

Road to Tokyo 2020: Water Pollution Remains Major Challenge

   Tokyo, Aug. 20 (Jiji Press)--A series of recent test events for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics have shed fresh light on water pollution as a major challenge for the games.
   In the Paratriathlon World Cup held at Odaiba Marine Park on Saturday, the 2020 Olympic and Paralympic venue for the event, the race format was changed to a duathlon excluding swimming, due to water-quality issues. The decision came after E. coli levels were more than two times higher than the International Triathlon Union's standards in a water quality test the previous day.
   In a marathon swimming test event at the Odaiba area on Aug. 11, participating athletes complained of bad smells although E. coli levels were lower than the ITU standards.
   A single-layer underwater screen was set up to prevent E. coli contamination in the test events. Triple-layer screens are planned for the 2020 Games.
   In a water survey conducted by the Tokyo metropolitan government and the Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic organizing committee in July-September 2018, triple-layer underwater screens proved effective in keeping E. coli levels below the ITU and International Swimming Federation criteria. With no underwater screens at all, E. coli levels were as high as about 142 times the international standards in the survey.

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