Australian Open players are breathing poor air contaminated with bushfire smoke, making it almost impossible for them to finish their matches,media reported. Dalila Jakupovic, ranked 210th in the Women’s Tennis Association of the World Women’s Tennis Association, withdrew from yesterday’s qualifying match after coughing from inhaling polluted air. Sharapova’s match was also cancelled after two hours in the smoke-filled air. Novak Djokovic, for his part, said before the match that it might be necessary to postpone the match until the air had cleared.
It is reported that short-term inhalation of contaminated air will increase the respiratory system and heart burden. In the long run, it increases the risk of heart disease and certain cancers.
Physical activity also increases the amount of air a person inhales per minute, so people who exercise in harsh air inhale more pollutants than those who sit outdoors. Ed Avol, professor of clinical preventive medicine at the University of Southern California and an expert on air pollution: “Because they exercise so hard and breathe so often, athletes actually become a contaminant-sensitive subgroup. “
Air pollutants reduce lung function and blood flow, both of which are key to good exercise performance. At a professional level, the gap between athletes is small, and any impact on physical function can have a significant impact. A study by the German Professional Football League shows that polluted air is linked to the decline in the efficiency of athletes on the field.
Melbourne, the venue for the Australian Open, has one of the worst air quality in the world, for sure reasons – a severe forest season. Monday’s Open practice session was suspended and Wednesday’s match was postponed for two hours because of the haze. Event organizers say they are monitoring air quality.
“As smoke and fires continue to spread, there will be high concentrations of particles and gases in the air. Everyone should take some personal protection and try to minimize exercise,” Avol said.