'Brutal' heat at Tokyo Olympics causes athletes to faint, suffer heatstroke

The Onsen Games.

Low Jia Ying | July 26, 2021, 07:27 PM

The 2020 Olympic Games are underway, and the heat appears to be a formidable opponent.

According to CNN, temperatures reached 34°C and humidity levels hit 80 per cent on Saturday (Jul. 24), creating uncomfortable weather conditions for athletes competing out in the open.

Athletes collapsing from heat

Reports have emerged of athletes collapsing after their events due to the intense heat and humidity.

Russian archer Svetlana Gomboeva fainted after her qualifying match on Friday (Jul. 23), requiring staff and teammates to cool her down using ice packs, Reuters reported.

The chief doctor for the Russian Olympic team later diagnosed Gomboeva with a case of heatstroke.

Yahoo News reported that Monday's (Jul. 26) men's triathlon saw athletes slumped on the ground at the finish line, needing to be helped off the track.

Djokovic: Schedule matches later in the day

Tennis player Novak Djokovic, who made it through the first round of the men's tennis singles on Saturday (Jul. 24), had trouble with the heat as well.

The world number one hopes to be the first person in history to achieve a Golden Slam, which requires winning all four Grand Slams and the Olympics Gold in the same year.

He told CNN reporters that weather conditions were "brutal" during his match, adding that the combination of high heat and humidity made it very difficult for players.

Djokovic also told reporters that he hoped matches will be scheduled for later in the day, saying that it would "make life much easier for all of us tennis players."

IOC will reschedule Games events if needed

According to Yahoo News, organisers promised in its Olympics bid that hosting the Games in the middle of summer would be "ideal".

Their official proposal read:

“With many days of mild and sunny weather, this period provides an ideal climate for athletes to perform their best.”

The International Olympics Committee (IOC) has since promised to back any schedule changes if necessary, it said on Sunday (Jul. 25), according to Reuters.

Top photos via @sportsstarweb/Twitter and Unsplash