Tokyo 2020 Olympics Eventing Cross Country

The 2020 Tokyo Olympics opening ceremony is scheduled to take place on 24th July 2020. The vision of the games is that “The Tokyo 1964 Games completely transformed Japan. The Tokyo 2020 Games, as the most innovative in history, will bring positive reform to the world by building on three core concepts”:

  • Striving for your person best (Achieving Personal Best)
  • Accepting one another (Unity in Diversity)
  • Passing on Legacy for the future (Connecting to Tomorrow)

In eventing the ready steady Tokyo test event that took place in August 2019 was a great success. Team GB selected Georgie Spence and William Fox-Pitt to represent and compete in the competition finishing 4th and 8th respectfully. At that time the cross-country track was much shorter and measured 3050 meters with a speed of 550m/minute.

Following the test event a study was conducted by the FEI’s long-time climate expert Dr David Marlin who resulted that” to put the expected effort in the context of previous course measurements, this has been compared with the analysis undertaken for Atlanta 1995 and 1996 and for long format cross country courses done at the same time. It is possible to analyse any course to make a comparison if we have the distance and elevation data.

“This analysis shows that a 5,700 metre track as originally proposed would be similar in effort to 1995 long format [old 3*] events at Bramham (GBR) or Blenheim (GBR).

“We can also estimate that the previously planned Tokyo 2020 full track at a WBGT of 28-32°C would be around 22-35% more effort than the same track in cool conditions (maximum WBGT of 20-23°C). Tight turns will also increase energy expenditure. We currently do not have good data to calculate this but a conservative estimate could be +5%.”

Organisers have now taken the decision to shorten the Olympic eventing cross country course to 8 minutes and 4500 meters. This is due to the heat and humidity in Japan in August. The cross-country part of the competition will also start at 7.30am in the morning ending around 11am to avoid the highest Wet Bulb Globe Temperature (WBGT) readings.

The decision to shorten the course was approved by the FEI board just before Christmas after advice was given from the FEI veterinary and eventing committees.

The Horse Exchange is on the countdown to Tokyo 2020 Olympics.