Tokyo Olympics: Tennis Shifts Later Due To Extreme Heat After Player Medvedev Says He 'Can Die' During Match

ToplineAfter players requested a change in their schedule due to high heat and humidity, tennis matches at the Tokyo Olympics will now begin later each day. This is because athletes have been struggling with the Tokyo Games, which are expected to be the hottest Olympics ever.Olympic tennis player Daniil Medvedev from the Russian Olympic Committee plays during men's...[+] singles 3rd round tennis match at the Tokyo Olympics on July 28. (Photo by Stringer/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images). Anadolu Agency via Getty ImagesThe Key FactsAfter players requested that the ITF change the schedule, tennis matches will now begin at 3 p.m. rather than 11 a.m. In a statement, the ITF stated that it made the change in order to protect player health and welfare. This decision was taken after extensive consultation and players complained about the heat in Tokyo. Paula Badosa, a Spanish player, left her match in a wheelchair. Russian tennis player Daniil Medidev was so uncomfortable with the heat Wednesday that he told the chair umpire that he could finish the match but that if he dies, according to the Associated Press. Medvedev asked the umpire if he would be held responsible if he died. He said that he struggled with the heat Wednesday, telling the chair umpire that he could finish the match but could die. Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, a Russian tennis player, had to stop playing because she felt faint from the heat Saturday. The humidity was extreme, said the No. 1 tennis player.Big Number88 degrees Fahrenheit. According to the AP, that's how hot Tokyo was on Wednesday. However, it felt like 99 degrees with humidity. Medvedev said that it was the hottest day, and the most humid.Chief CriticForbes was previously informed by the International Olympic Committee (IOC), in an email, that the IOC takes heat seriously and has taken a variety of measures to combat it. These include cooling tents, shifting the schedules for other events to deal with the heat, and moving the Olympic marathon to Sapporo, Japan which is much cooler than Tokyo.Important BackgroundNBC has projected the Tokyo Olympics will be the hottest Games on record, and the sweltering temperaturesparticularly the high humidityhave impeded athletes throughout the Games. Svetlana Gormboeva, a Russian archer, collapsed due to high temperatures on Friday. Olympic organizers had to begin hosing down beach volleyball courts after players complained that the sand was burning. Officials had warned of the danger heat could pose prior to the Games began. Haruo Ozaki (chairman of the Tokyo Medical Association) stated earlier in July that extreme heat was making it difficult for athletes to play in the sand. To combat this, Olympic organizers have begun to clean down the beach volleyball courts.Surprising FactTo accommodate the high heat, the 1964 Tokyo Olympics, which was the last time that Tokyo hosted the Summer Games, was moved to October. According to NBC, Tokyo's average temperatures have risen 2.7 degrees in August and July, with eight days more of above-95 degrees Fahrenheit weather on average.Continue readingOlympics-Tennis - ITF accepts requests from players to delay start because of heat (Reuters)."I can finish the match but I can't die": Daniil Medvedev battles extreme heat to reach the Olympic men's tennis quarterfinals. (Associated Press).Tokyo Olympics: Record Heat AheadTokyo Olympics Under Threat from Extreme Heat and Tropical Storm. 16 More People Test Positive for Covid-19 (Forbes).Tokyo heat wave as Olympic organizers struggle to keep Covid rates low (NBC News).The Tokyo Olympics are in hot conditions (Wall Street Journal).