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Officials spray water on Olympic course sidewalk in trial to beat the heat

Officials of the Tokyo Metropolitan Government and other authorities measure the surface temperature of a sidewalk sprayed with water in the capital's Chiyoda Ward on Aug. 13, 2018. (Mainichi)

TOKYO -- Metropolitan government officials sprayed water on a sidewalk along a course in the capital for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics on Aug. 13 in a trial to develop ways to beat the heat for the summer games.

The trial started on a sidewalk on Uchibori Street around the Imperial Palace -- part of the route for the marathon and race walk events -- at 4 a.m. on Aug. 13. Officials placed a 100-meter hose with holes in it along the sidewalk and sprayed water, before measuring the surface temperature of the sidewalk and air temperature every 30 minutes up to 10 a.m.

While the air temperature was 33.5 degrees Celsius at 9 a.m., the surface temperature of the sidewalk sprinkled with water was 28 to 29 degrees, up to 4 degrees less than sidewalks where officials did not sprinkle water.

A Tokyo Metropolitan Government official commented on the trial, "The surface temperature of the sidewalk didn't rise after we sprinkled water. The trial had a certain effect on dealing with the heat."

The Tokyo Olympics is set to start both its men's and women's marathon events at 7 a.m., half an hour earlier than originally planned. In addition, the men's 50-kilometer race walk, which takes about four hours to complete, will begin at 6 a.m., making it the earliest starting event for 339 competitions in 33 categories at the Tokyo Olympics.

(Japanese original by Kentaro Mori, City News Department)

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