April 13, 2024

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Olympics: New Sports Had High Rate of Injuries in Tokyo, Says Research Report

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New Sports Had High Rate of Injuries in Tokyo, Says Research Report

According to new research released on Wednesday, athletes participating in the newly added Olympic sports of BMX freestyle, karate, and skateboarding experienced some of the highest rates of injuries at the Tokyo Games.

The three new competitions were among the top five most injured events at the 2020 Summer Olympics, which were moved to 2021 due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

According to a study conducted by researchers from the International Olympic Committee (IOC), boxing and BMX racing had the highest rates of injuries, with 27% of competitors suffering an injury.

According to the study, which was published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine, the new event of BMX freestyle came in second with 22% of its athletes injured, followed by skateboarding with 21% and karate with 19%.

However, other recent events had lower injury rates, such as 3×3 basketball (11%), sport climbing (15%), and surfing (13%).

The study’s lead author Torbjorn Soligard, who works in the IOC’s medical and scientific department, told AFP “it is important to note that more than half the injuries recorded did not lead to any time lost from competition”.

Since the 2008 Beijing Olympics, IOC researchers have kept track of all illnesses and injuries that occur during competition. More than 11,300 athletes from 206 national teams were observed in Tokyo, where more than a thousand injuries were noted.

Athletes in Tokyo made up 9% of the total, which is similar to 8% at the 2016 Rio Games, 11% at the 2012 London Olympics, and 10% in Beijing.

With 3.9 cases of illness per 100 athletes, Tokyo had the lowest rate of illness ever observed at an Olympics (under strict Covid-19 restrictions, as opposed to 5.4 in Rio and 7.2 in London).

“This might largely be attributed to the extensive counter-measures put in place to mitigate Covid-19, effectively reducing transmission of Covid-19 and all respiratory infections,” the study’s authors said.

Less than 0.2% of the athletes successfully caught Covid.

A parallel study found that newly introduced sports were also among the most prone to injuries at the Tokyo Paralympics, with taekwondo and badminton ranking among the top four for the highest rates.

Compared to the 12% recorded at both the Rio and London Games, only 8% of Paralympians were injured in Tokyo. The researchers did discover that the injuries were worse though.

Reference: https://www.straitstimes.com/sport/olympics-new-sports-had-high-rate-of-injuries-in-tokyo-says-research-report

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