The Olympic Marathon Swim Venue: Odaiba Marine Park

The Olympic Marathon Swim Venue: Odaiba Marine Park

While there was a major miscue at the start of the men’s Olympic triathlon where a large media boat blocked many of the triathletes from starting when the official gun was heard.  

The event organizers provided an official explanation, “At the start [of the Olympic triathlon event], some of the athletes were blocked by an Olympic Broadcast Services boat and as a result, we had to start again the race due to an invalid start.”

Other than inexplicable media boat snafu and the broken nose unfortunate suffered by Australian triathlete Jake Birtwhistle when he was kicked during the false start, the Odaiba Marine Park venue conditions lived up to expectations.  

Last week, the water temperature in Odaiba Marine Park has ranged from 26.8°C to 29.8°C (80.2°F to 85.6°F).  “Quite warm and uncomfortable for racing 10 km with a techsuit on, but certainly within the acceptable and expected water temperatures for FINA professional marathon swimmers,” said Steven Munatones.

The fecal coliforms, e.coli, and enterocossi levels are all within acceptable levels.  The light brown water in the venue has a visibility level between 0.75 to 1.1 meters – which is not bad and a credit to the countermeasures of the local organizers.  According to the local organizers, there is no odor of the water which is debatable based on local media reports, but let’s hope for the sake of the athletes that the situation of no odor continues.  Air temperatures have ranged from 28.4°C to 38.8°C (83.4°F to 101.4°F) during the sunny days of last week.  These are certainly hot, but not unexpected and all of the athletes are trained to be acclimated to these warm temperatures.”

As for the course, it will be interesting to see if the Olympic triathlon turn buoys will be used.  “The triathletes used tall cylindrical turn buoys which are fine for a triathlon, but much less desirable than the banana-shaped turn buoys that are traditionally used at the Olympic 10K Marathon Swim,” observed Steven Munatones.  “The banana-shaped turn buoys allow for wider turns by the swimmers and really cut down on swimmers being hit by the elbows, knees and feet of other athletes in 90° turns around cylindrical turn buoys in a tight rectangular course.”

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