Computation Fluid Dynamics (CFD) simulation coupled with other smart technologies has been used to caution the organizers of safety and health risks.

Earlier in the Tokyo Olympics, a Russian archer had fainted during the Ranking Round due to the scorching heat in the city. 

A video of the incident can be found here. The heatwave has since affected many more athletes at the event.

One tech firm had taken the initiative to use CFD simulation software to simulate the effects of hot, humid conditions on a male athlete competing in the 10,000m race, which is the longest stadium-based track race. 

This CFD simulation by engineers of Hexagon’s Manufacturing Intelligence division used Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD)—the discipline of simulating thermal/fluid phenomena. The software is commonly used to design air conditioning systems, understand driver comfort and even design more efficient tumble driers.

The CFD simulation analyzed the impact of the heat and humidity in the Tokyo Stadium and highlighted the dangerous conditions facing athletes, who risk heatstroke, dehydration and exhaustion. According to the simulation, running in an ambient temperature of 32-degrees Celsius at 90% humidity, an athlete’s skin temperature could reach 38 degrees Celsius at the chest area, and their core temperature could hit a high of 39.77 degrees Celsius that can contribute to heatstroke risk. This is because, over a running stint of 10,000m, the athlete can lose almost 810ml of water.

According to Keith Hanna, the firm’s spokesperson: “There’s been much discussion about the decision to hold the Games in the Tokyo summer. These simulations show the extreme conditions that athletes will be competing under. Athletes are accustomed to pushing themselves to the limits and these simulations show how racing conditions impact performance as well as the risks undertaken when the human body is pushed to extremes. What’s most interesting is that small margins of change in temperature can have a huge impact (on athletes’ tipping points).”