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Mist and morning glories: Tokyo 2020 bids to beat the heat

Tokyo, Japan: Mist sprays, cooling scarves and pots of morning glory flowers were among the measures unveiled on Thursday by Tokyo 2020 officials to beat the heat during next summer's Olympics.

Doctors have warned the Games could see deadly medical emergencies as athletes, volunteers and spectators face the sweltering Tokyo summer where the mercury can easily reach 40 degrees Celsius (104 degrees Fahrenheit).

Organisers plan to create shaded spaces, rest areas if people fall ill, cooling fans and misting stations to combat the heat.

Tokyo 2020 also showed off a new line of licensed products designed to ward off heatstroke, including cooling scarves and sun visors.

Sporting one of the scarves, Tokyo 2020 Games Delivery Officer Hidemasa Nakamura enthused: "It's so cool when worn after putting in water."

Nakamura also revealed that organisers are considering allowing fans to bring in their own drink bottles under certain conditions, adding that security and sponsorship issues had still to be worked out.

Tourists will also be able to access special apps with heat warnings, he said. The plans will be "brushed up" later, including how much it will cost.

Among the more unique "preventative measures" is the use of summer flowers as a "psychological measure."

"We are planning to put in lines of morning glories and other flowers grown by elementary school children instead of unattractive steel fences," said Nakamura.

Schedules of sports such as the marathon, rugby sevens, triathlon and mountain biking have been brought forward to avoid the worst of the potentially blistering temperatures for the July 24 to August 9 Games.

The last time Japan hosted the Summer Olympics, in 1964, the competition was held in October to avoid the hot summer conditions.

Last summer, Tokyo sweated through several deadly heatwaves and Japan was also battered by a series of typhoons that caused death, destruction and delay.

At one point, the mercury touched a record 41 Celsius (105.8 Fahrenheit). The hottest day of Olympic competition in history was recorded at the 2004 Athens Games when temperatures soared to 36C (97F).

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