Saturday, May 15, 2021

Great Britain hockey women set to test Tokyo heat ahead of Olympic defence

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Rod Gilmour
The Hockey Paper's Editor. First covered international hockey at the 2010 Commonwealth Games - no better than a full house watching India play England - and has reported for the Daily Telegraph and other major newspapers ever since. Co-founded THP in 2016.

Olympians competing in next summer’s Games in Tokyo have been ranked in order of how likely they are to get sunburn.

Researchers calculated the average sun exposure for 144 outdoor competitions set to take place in Japan next year.

Weather concerns have been cited after a record heat wave hit the Japanese capital last summer, with one area near Tokyo recording temperatures of 41.1C.

Of all outdoor sports, hockey, tennis, golf, cycling and volleyball showed significant potential for high sunburn exposure.

With Great Britain women playing fewer events in Asia than the men, the women’s side will travel to Tokyo this summer “to understand better how different athletes respond to the heat and humidity”.

Sam Bradley, EIS Head of Performance Support for GB Hockey, said, “Delivering in the heat and humidity of Tokyo is an opportunity we are really looking forward to, and this has been a key focus for the EIS, BOA and indeed the UK high performance system for some time already.

“An often overlooked component of this is how different athletes respond in the heat.”

The heat study found that whoever is crowned winner of the women’s singles tennis tournament will receive the most rays, followed by the gold medallist for men’s golf, and the winner of the men’s cycling road race.

The study, published in the Taylor & Francis journal Temperature, was undertaken by Dr Nathan Downs at the University of Southern Queensland, Australia.

Higher daytime exposure durations for hockey made the sport a likely event in which high ultraviolet exposure is possible. The study assumed that hockey Olympians will experience elevated exposures compared with similar team sports played over lawn surfaces.

All barring goalkeepers, who will experience a tough time under the helmet.

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