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Heat forces temporary A/C for sports festival

Date Posted: 2010-07-29

Thereís not one, but two type competition going on in Okinawa, host to the Inter-Scholastic Athletics Competition. Athletes are trying to beat the heat, but the heatís beating the athletes in many cases.

Many of the 26 events are taking place indoors in public schools that typically do not have air conditioning in classrooms or gymnasiums, although some do have fans. Thatís not enough, and concerned events organizers and city officials hosting venues are taking steps to provide some relief for athletes. Okinawa Prefecture and some municipalities have created special budgets to set up air conditioning systems in gymnasiums on a temporary basis.

Nishihara Town, host to the boys basketball event, realized the sweltering heat in its school gymnasium would make the sport difficult for the athletes, and for spectators, as well. Theyíve installed a temporary system, fearful there could be cases of heatstroke. To studentsí dismay, though, Nishihara Town officials say the air conditioning will be stripped from the gymnasium following the competition.

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