20 December 2019

Team GB athletes given tips on where to sit on planes to avoid illness before 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo

Great Britain's Olympic athletes will be given advice on where to sit on planes to ensure they do not fall ill prior to Tokyo 2020.

Those competing at the Games next summer will also be given tips on health, diet as well as specific techniques such as the most effective way to wash their hands.

Craig Ranson, the director of athlete health at the English Institute for Sport, believes strategically positioning athletes on planes could prevent infections.

"We don't want people to bag our seats so I won't go into specifics, but not near the toilet," he said.

"[We teach athletes] about how they can clean their seat in the plane and where to sit in the plane so the air-conditioning leaves them less exposed to bugs from other people in the plane.

"When athletes are in camps or during Games time, if one gets a cold they can all get a cold. So it's about teaching some really basic things to avoid that cross-infection.

"We have some great technology which teaches them about how to wash their hands effectively so you don't get contamination of bugs that way."

Going into the Christmas period, Ranson is well aware of the illnesses that spread when people head home to their families.

"No surprises we have a spike in illnesses in January," he added. "Athletes go home for Christmas and then come back and we see a spike every January over the last four years."

The best videos delivered daily

Watch the stories that matter, right from your inbox