Photo/IllutrationAthletes at the starting line in the women’s triathlon event in the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Summer Olympics (Asahi Shimbun file photo)

Whoever wins the gold medal in the women's singles tennis competition at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics might also want to be champion of slathering on the most sunscreen.

A study by Australian researchers shows that the women's tennis singles champion will receive the highest amount of ultraviolet light at next summer's Games and issued a warning against sunburn and the risk of skin cancer.

The women's singles gold medalist is expected to be on court for 10 and a half hours in all and receive a total of 1,680.4 joules of UV radiation per square meter, according to the research results, to be published March 14 in the British science journal Temperature.

The men’s tennis singles gold medalist is expected to play 15 minutes longer than the women's champion, but more women’s matches are scheduled for sun-drenched times of the day.

Researchers also factored in differences in attire, as male tennis players tend to wear caps more often than female players.

The runner-up for highest UV ray exposure will be the players in the men's golf competition.

Despite that male players' projected total time on the course --15 hours and 40 minutes--is much longer than the women’s tennis champion's time on the court, researchers estimated their exposure to UV rays will be a lower 1,530.3 joules per square meter.

The men's golf competitors typically wear long pants and a cap that help protect them from the intense rays of the sun.

Researchers think the winner of the women’s golf competition will have the same amount of exposure to UV rays as her male counterpart.

Men’s cycling road race came in third in the findings. Total duration of the gold medalist’s UV exposure is 6 hours and 11 minutes, which is shorter than winners in other high-risk sport events. But the “slouching” stance assumed by a competitor in a cycling road race puts him more at risk to the sun's rays than others who compete while standing.

Competitors in the triathlon are known to wear skimpy clothing. But it is a one-time race contested over a short duration of time. That contributes to significantly reduced sun exposure, as the winner of the individual women’s triathlon is estimated to receive UV rays a little under 40 percent of that of a cycling road racer.

The players on the team that take home Olympic women’s soccer gold are expected to receive about 30 percent of the UV rays that a men’s cycling road race winner will be exposed to.

To capture the gold, the team is expected to play for 7 hours and 55 minutes in total, longer than the men’s cycling road racer’s 6 hours and 11 minutes. But many of the soccer matches are scheduled at night, which reduces sun exposure for competitors.

The Tokyo Games, scheduled for July 24 to Aug. 9 in the sweltering summer heat, include 339 events in 33 sports.

Researchers studied 144 outdoor events and calculated the total sun exposure for a gold medalist of each event, based on factors such as last summer’s Tokyo weather data, the time of day the event is held, and athlete’s posture during a game.

The study was conducted on the assumption that athletes wear the same types of clothing as the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Summer Olympics.

The study points out that overexposure to UV light can cause skin cancer, and recommends that Olympic organizers take measures to reduce the amount of exposure as much as possible.

“Events like the marathon are purposefully scheduled to run early in the morning in order to keep the total sun exposure down, so this is something that could be considered for other events too,” a researcher said in a statement.