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Is it safe for athletes to compete in extreme heat?

The extreme heat experienced nationwide this summer has undoubtedly been a hot topic.

The searing temperatures have put pressure on our athletes, with experts asking whether professional tennis and cricket players should be playing when the mercury exceeds 40 degrees.

At Rod Laver Arena on Thursday, the on-court temperature reached 69 degrees, with Frenchman Gael Monfils telling officials his body was at risk.

Dr Jane Fitzpatrick, a specialist sport and exercise physician, tells Michael McLaren there is a limit to what athletes can take.

“You can see it affects some athletes more than others.

“There does come a point where they reach that limit…and they’re aware that if they keep on going for an extended period of time it’ll get worse.

“That’s why the policies are in place to suspend play in the event the conditions reach that breaking point.”

Dr Fitzpatrick says there are measures athletes can take to reduce the impact of extreme heat on their bodies.

“Athletes are aware they can hyper-hydrate the day before and the night before so they would all have been doing this.

“They would have been playing in these conditions in order to ensure the body almost learns to keep some extra water on board.”

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