Spanish tennis player Paula Badosa has increased concerns about heat exhaustion at the ongoing Tokyo Olympics after the 23-year-old had to be wheelchaired out of her quarterfinal against MarketaVondrousova.
Extreme heat is the latest challenge facing athletes and organizers at the Tokyo Olympics. Some competitors have collapsed because of the warm conditions.
The Barcelona-based star Paula Badosa was hoping to surpass a career-best performance at the French Open earlier this year, where she similarly reached this stage of a competition by heating the same opponent in the last 16.
But Vondrousova came flying out of the tracks this time and was blatantly less affected by the grueling conditions. As the Czech took the first set 6-3, Badosa could continue no longer and was forced to retire Vondrousova, who beat home crowd favorite Naomi Osaka in the last round, now advances to the semi-finals.
Hardly able to celebrate a victory in such circumstances, she went over to embrace her and wish her all the best as harrowing scenes played out.
Attended by a group of coaches and officials, with an ice pack to her head and air-con blowing in her face, the world number 29 slumped in her chair apparently suffering a heat stroke and could not make it off the court with a towel over her head, she had to be wheelchaired away, and one onlooker commented that there is no chance. She will return to play mixed doubles with her partner Pablo Carreno later today.
The development follows an outburst from men’s world number 2 Daniil Medvedev, who during his third-round tie with Fabio Fognini asked: “ I can finish the match but I can die. If I die, are you going to be responsible?”
“I felt like my diaphragm has blocked,” the Russian later said, ‘” I couldn’t breathe properly. It was the most humid day we had so far – may be the hottest.”
With temperatures exceeding 30 degrees, it seems organizers are tempting fate and may only take proper action once a real tragedy has occurred.
What was the statement of Paula Badosa after this incident:
Spanish ace Badosa leaves court in a wheelchair as fears grow for tennis stars in sweltering heat at Tokyo Olympics. “ I have suffered a heat stroke as you all have seen and did not feel fit to continue competing in the match,” Badosa said, according to CNN. “ Along with the pressure of the competition, how special these days are, these are things that happen in short- and today, I had to go through that terrain.” “ It was a shame to end my participation this way. The conditions have been demanding from day one, we tried to adapt as best as possible, but today the body has not resisted as needed.” Badosaadded: “ I leave with a feeling of pride for having given absolutely everything for my country, for having represented it in the most professional way that I could. I am now going to focus on recovering, working to be well, and giving myself the opportunity to return to an event like this.”
The ‘extreme weather policy’ which has been in effect throughout the games, will continue when temperatures exceed 86.18 Fahrenheit, the statement given by the IFT.