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Asian Games: Sailors battling foes, pollution-caused health worries

Japan’s Asian Games sailors have been competing in Jakarta Bay while battling diarrhea and fever.

The cause of the health issues is believed to be sewage in the bay’s polluted waters, where in June at the Asian Championship one Japanese sailor after another was incapacitated, according to a source with Japan’s team.

Following that experience, the team developed countermeasures but due to the nature of racing small boats, ingesting some seawater is virtually unavoidable.

«In Rio, there was garbage on the surface of the water, but here it is a water quality issue,» said Manami Doi, who raced Laser Radial at the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics, and who is now leading the competition in Jakarta.

Tetsuya Isozaki, who leads the men’s 470 competition after nine races, said he was dealing with stomach issues for the first two days of the competition, while men’s 49er sailor Shingen Furuya said, «I had a temperature of 39.2 C and sailed while I was semi-conscious.»

After the experience here in June, the Japan team began drinking lactic acid beverages three weeks before the start of the games to strengthen their immune systems.

Although the Japanese team has suffered, the casualties have been less severe than they were at the previous competition on the same waters.

All — Kyodo News+

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