Track and field championships return to Ottawa during heat wave

A heat wave may be no sweat for athletes at the Canadian Track and Field Championships in Ottawa. But fans at the events may need a cool down.

The events, taking place at Terry Fox Stadium on Riverside Drive, are running from Tuesday to Sunday, and Environment Canada is forecasting temperatures rising to 30 C or higher on each day except Friday.

Organizers predict heated competition at Canadian track championships

Athletes can take the heat, but organizers have installed misting machines and water refill stations for spectators, said Mathieu Gentès, the chief operating officer for Athletics Canada. 

Athletics Canada — the organization responsible for organizing the championships — is providing spectators with places to fill their water bottles and misting stations to cool down.

For the athletes, however, weather like this is not a major hurdle, said Mathieu Gentès, the chief operating officer for Athletics Canada.

“These guys are training in Florida. They are training in California. They go to hot weather to train,” he said.

Athletics Canada are aware the heat may be a lot for some spectators, however, and are prepared, Gentès said.

“We have got a medical team on site ready and willing to respond to any issues,” he said.

Canadian sprinters Andre De Grasse and Aaron Brown will both be at the event along with a host of other top athletes. The event last year drew record crowds and Gentès said they have brought in extra seating because they expect the same this year.

“We have got star athletes. We have great athletes that people want to watch.”

Athletics Canada Tweeted:

Some of our high heat measures:
Free water for spectators and athletes courtesy of @Aquahaulics (bring your own bottle)
Misting stations for athletes and spectators, also courtesy @Aquahaulics
Trained medical team and responders on-site
Cold tubs (for athletes)


Events started on Tuesday with the decathlon and heptathlon events for men and women in the senior, under 20 and under 18 categories. The full schedule can be seen here.

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