Tokyo, Jul 28 (EFE).- Spanish tennis player Paula Badosa withdrew from the women’s individual tournament in Tokyo 2020 on Wednesday after suffering from apparent heat exhaustion during the quarter final match against Czech Marketa Vondrousova.
Badosa sat down to rest after losing the first set (6-3), she eventually called for medical assistance and decided to abandon the match when ice bags placed over the back of her neck failed to help her recover.
Her rival approached her for a hug, and minutes later Badosa was taken off the court in a wheelchair and covering her head with a towel.
World number one and favourite for the gold medal Novak Djokovic alongside other participants in the Olympics have denounced the extreme hot and humid weather in Tokyo 2020, during the city’s warmest season.
Temperatures have consistently risen above 30C (86F) and humidity above 70% in the Tokyo region during the Olympics.
Especially in tennis, athletes have complained about the time slots reserved for their competitions, which leave them exposed to the extreme heat, and have asked the International Tennis Federation several times to reschedule matches.
“Competition schedules have been built where possible to avoid the hottest parts of the day but that is not possible with every sport,” said International Olympic Committee sports director Kit McConnell on Sunday, adding that counter-measures are in place to battle the heat in training sessions and competitions.
The IOC said it was on board with rescheduling tennis matches if need be, but did not set a heat threshold to trigger the change.
Also Wednesday, Russian tennis player Daniil Medvedev, number two in world rankings, told the concerned umpire he could continue playing despite the crippling heat, but asked who would take responsibility if he died as a result of it. EFE