A Russian Olympic starlet who collapsed in a heatwave in Tokyo has reassured worried fans that she is recovering from her ordeal, adding that she will continue to compete while bosses pledged the scare would not happen again.
Staff and team-mates put bags of ice on Svetlana Gomboeva’s head after rushing to help the archer, with her coach, Stanislav Popov, acknowledging that their training in the Russian city of Vladivostok had not been able to replicate the humidity of Japan.
The 23-year-old took to her Instagram account, which she suggested she had not been planning to monitor before her Olympics campaign began, to tell her thousands of followers that she was on the mend despite suffering from some head pain.
“I feel fine,” said Gomboeva. “My head hurts badly. I can shoot and will. At the time of the Olympic Games, I stopped maintaining my page, but the situation has developed so that many are now worried about me.”
Making her Olympics debut, Gomboeva won gold at the Archery World Cup stage held in Lausanne, Switzerland earlier this year, and is appearing with her two compatriots from that tournament – Ksenia Perova and Elena Osipova – at the games.
“It turns out that she couldn’t stand a whole day out in the heat,” said Popov. “This is the first time I remember this happening.
“In Vladivostok, where we were training before this, the weather was similar. But humidity played a role here.”
Perova confirmed that “everything” was “fine” with her team-mate, and Andrei Zholinsky, the chief physician of the Russian Olympic team, said that the 33 degrees Celsius (91 Fahrenheit) conditions had resulted in heatstroke.
“She feels good now,” he said. “We have examined her. She is resting. I’m sure this won’t happen again.
“Now we will adjust the hydration, water, drinking, sleep and rest regimen, and she will be ready for competition.
“Her family shouldn’t be worried. She’s under supervision. We have a good team of doctors and we will handle it.”
South Korea’s Kang Chaeyoung and Australia’s Alice Ingley, who advised her rivals to wear cooling vests, drink slushies, use fans and carry umbrellas, were among the athletes to admit that the extreme conditions were unlike any they had previously faced while competing.
After her medal-winning performances earlier this year, Gomboeva thanked her supporters and said on social media: “I am proud of myself, my team, my country.
“In this difficult time for the whole world, it is so important to create positive moments with your own hands. The season is in full swing – there is a lot of work ahead.
“I felt like a real star with a crowd of fans. closely following me. My mom, grandmother and uncle with my family are watching my every arrow – and, of course, my fiance.”
Gomboeva took 45th place in qualifying, with Osipova in 22nd and Perova finishing eighth.
The trio are wearing shirts bearing the emblem of the Russian Olympic Committee and are identified by the acronym ‘ROC’ during the event because of ongoing sanctions against the country’s anti-doping programme. (RT)
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