Boks get travel bonus
WORLD CUP SPOTLIGHT: All the teams have already arrived in Japan, ahead of the global showpiece. However, their travelling is far from over.
Though players will avoid the effects of jetlag during the tournament, as Japan has one timezone, air travel isn’t ideal for elite sports players.
Research published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine has identified several negative effects of travel on athletic performance, and those travelling longer distances during the World Cup can be expected to feel greater effects from sleep loss and lower oxygen pressure, to name a couple.
Netflights has calculated which team will be travelling the furthest distance across Japan in the shortest amount of time.
The pool stage lasts 23 days, with 40 games in 12 different stadiums that span the whole of Japan – from the northern city of Sapporo to the southwestern city of Kumamoto. The stadiums are over 1,200 miles (2,000km) apart, with wide differences in climate between them.
A total of 20,724 miles (33,353km) will be covered during the pool stages, which is almost the same distance as travelling around the world back to the same spot (24,901 miles).
The team that will travel least is the host nation, Japan.
The Brave Blossoms will travel just 402 miles (647km) over 23 days. That’s because most of their games are in the larger stadiums near Tokyo on the country’s main island of Honshu.
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The other team with a major travel bonus is South Africa, who also arrived at least a week earlier than any other team and played a warm-up match against Japan.
Apart from having the additional advantaged of being fully acclimatised before the start of the tournament, the Springboks will travel just 440 miles (708km) over 17 days.
All 20 teams will have their share of travelling to do, but there’s a definite disparity between teams – Australia will need to cover 1,351 miles (2,175km) miles more than South Africa during the pool stage.
No team will travel more during the pool stages than Tonga. Throughout the first stage, they will have to travel 1,920 miles (3,089km) over 21 days, with their shortest break between travelling only six days.