British runner Jessica Judd collapsed from exhaustion and was left begging for water after competing in the Olympic 10,000 metres in 90F heat and 80 per cent humidity.
Judd finished 17th in the gruelling long distance final at the Tokyo Stadium but was left sprawling on the floor afterwards following almost 32 minutes of running.
She spent several minutes asking for water before her team-mate Eilish McColgan – the daughter of former British world champion Liz – brought her a bottle.
Great Britain’s Jessica Judd is helped from the track by medical officials after collapsing at the finish of the Olympic 10,000m in Tokyo. The race was ran in 90F heat and 80 per cent humidity
Judd, who finished 17th in the race, needed medical attention after lying on the track
She had to be helped into a wheelchair by medics before being aided off the track in Tokyo
Judd, 26, was then checked over by medics, sitting briefly in a wheelchair, before being helped from the track to recover and rehydrate.
Judd said on Eurosport: ‘That is the closest I’ve come to not finished. When it gets to you, it gets to you. I was desperate for water, I’ve never been this sweaty in my life.’
McColgan said: ‘It’s definitely one of the hardest races I’ve ever run in my life. I couldn’t have done much more.
‘Those girls at the front, it’s absolutely incredible they can run those times in this weather.’
Four athletes failed to finish the race, which was won by Sifan Hassan of Holland, in the stifling heat and humidity in the Japanese capital.
Hassan was unable to celebrate her victory as she crawled on her hands and knees pleading for water with officials too slow to get liquids to the finishers.
Despite the race starting at 7.45pm local time, temperatures were still well above 90F with the intense humidity another factor for the athletes to cope with.
After Judd spent several minutes asking for water, her British team-mate Eilish McColgan brought her a bottle rather than officials
Judd recovered after rehydrating after running for almost 32 minutes in taxing conditions
She briefly sat in a wheelchair while being checked over by medics before leaving the track
Four runners didn’t complete the 10,000m race which was held in intense heat and humidity
McColgan finished the race in ninth position as Hassan completed an outstanding Olympics by adding 10,000m gold to 5,000m gold and 1,500 bronze last week.
Judd, from Essex, is far from the first athlete to suffer in the hot conditions at Tokyo during the Olympics.
On Friday, the Japan’s Masatora Kawano vomited on himself and collapsed to the ground after suffering problems in the heat during the 50km race, even though the event began at 5.30am.
Somehow, Kawano managed to haul himself back to his feet and though the funny turn ruined his medal chances, he ultimately finished sixth.
Indeed, 20 per cent of the field in the 50km walk failed to finish in 31C heat.
Masatora Kawano appeared to vomit down himself during the 50km race walk in Tokyo
He collapsed to the floor in exhaustion and pounded it in frustration as his medal hopes faded
In the first week of the Olympics, changes were made to play tennis matches later in the day after Spain’s Paula Badosa suffered heatstroke and left the court in a wheelchair.
Novak Djokovic and Daniil Medvedev were among the elite players who called for matches to be played in cooler conditions.
Medvedev was heard to say during his match with Fabio Fognini: ‘If I die, who will take responsibility?’
Spanish tennis player Paula Badosa suffered heatstroke during a match and had to leave the court in a wheelchair
A shocking simulation showed how athletes competing in the Tokyo Olympics risk heatstroke, dehydration and exhaustion because of the extreme temperatures at what is set to be the hottest games on record.
Running in 90°F (32°C) heat and 90 per cent humidity can raise their core temperature over the ‘tipping point’ of 102°F (39°C) where it becomes dangerous, experts say.