By Brian Homewood
DOHA (Reuters) – Marathon runners and race walkers at the world athletics championships in Doha have been offered pill thermometers to monitor their reaction to the severe heat, IAAF president Sebastian Coe said on Thursday.
The road races will take place at midnight to alleviate the effects of the brutal conditions although the IAAF has predicted that the air temperature will still be around 30 degrees Celsius. Track and field events will take place at the Khalifa stadium which is air-conditioned and will not be affected.
Coe said the road races would be closely monitored by medical staff and information would help the IAAF prepare for next year’s Tokyo Olympics where temperatures are also expected to be hot and humid.
“We have given the opportunity for the athletes to ingest a tablet, it has a thermometer and can allow us to monitor the way they are dealing with heat and humidity,” Coe told a news conference.
“This has given us the opportunity and conditions for our medical teams and science teams to understand a great deal more about management of heat for athletes going forward.”
“I am pleased we have been able to use these conditions to understand how in future we really can take our sport into areas of climatic challenge.”
The first road race is the women’s marathon on Friday.
(Reporting by Brian Homewood, editing by Ed Osmond)