Mike Jansen April 2, 2012
I cannot remember when last I have been this cold. Temperatures in Tokyo plummeted to 5degrees overnight.
Having lived in Asia for over a decade, I have never experienced temperatures this low, even considering that I spend (SA) winters back home every two years. The weather wreaked havoc on Day 1 of the Tokyo Sevens too. The low temperature was exacerbated by a strong wind and driving rain, making playing conditions terrible for the players. I could kick myself for not bringing my North Face windbreaker’s down-feather inner-jacket. (Don’t tell her but you should always listen to your Missus!)
The strong wind meant the corner flags were horizontal on Day 1 (Pic: Mike Jansen)
Be that as it may, there is something special about packing one’s bag for a day in the media office for a Sevens tournament. Spending a full day working, taking pictures, writing reports online, updating Twitter and FaceBook requires planning in terms of what you need to see you through the day.
Back in Hong Kong for the HK Sevens, I’m normally very well organised. However, Day 1 of the Tokyo Sevens didn’t start well for me because I found myself without a suitable adapter for all my electronics. That meant that I had to make a trek into nearby Shibuya where I was told the nearest electronics shop is. (They really need Cape Town’s Babbie Shops here!) Unfortunately shops in Tokyo only open at 10am which meant that I got back to my desk well into the first game of the day.
The adaptor-trip was only the start of what was going to be a difficult day. It turned out that the attending media wasn’t allocated a working area overlooking the pitch (as we are so used to at the Hong Kong Sevens). Instead, the media office was situated in the bowels of the Prince Chichibu Memorial Stadium. This meant that, if we didn’t choose to watch the matches on the television in the media room, we had to watch from the stands, then run downstairs to post or updates results. There wasn’t even any wireless access pitch-side. For this reason, the 2012 Tokyo Sevens was probably the worst in terms of BlitzBokke.com’s reporting… I apologise to all our followers for this.
On the bright side, I was happy to have met so many South Africans over this weekend. I finally met some FaceBook friends and BlitzBokke supporters with whom I have been corresponding without ever having met them. I also met locally based South Africans who were happy to have this event bring the Springboks to their shores. I have made contacts and set up connections that should make the next Tokyo Sevens even better.
Have a look at this clip of Boom Prinsloo being stretchered off the pitch to understand the driving wind and rain at the Prince Chichibu Stadium:
Stay tuned for my next update. In the meantime, here’s my collection of Tokyo Sevens images: