Tokyo Olympics: Australian athletes isolate after US pole vault star's COVID-19 positive

By Sports Desk July 29, 2021

Australian track and field athletes at the Tokyo Olympics are isolating after a link was established to US pole vaulter Sam Kendricks, who has tested positive for COVID-19.

Kendricks has been ruled out of the Games, and he has reportedly been training this week alongside Australian Kurtis Marschall.

The Australian Olympic Committee said in a statement: "Members of Australia's track and field team at the Tokyo Olympic Games are isolating in their rooms as a precautionary measure following news of a COVID positive finding with a member of the US track and field team.

"Members of the Australian track and field team are now undergoing testing procedures in line with Australian Olympic team protocols."

The news comes on the eve of the athletics programme getting under way at Tokyo 2020, potentially putting some members of the team at risk of missing out.

The Sydney Morning Herald reported 63 Australian athletes were isolating, some of whom immediately took COVID tests.

News of Kendricks' positive test was a jolt to the American team, with the world champion having been a likely medal contender.

USA Track and Field said in a statement: "US pole vaulter Sam Kendricks has tested positive for COVID-19 and is therefore ineligible to compete at the Tokyo Games. He and his close contacts were immediately notified and protocols were activated to isolate the athlete."

Argentine pole vaulter German Chiaraviglio also announced he has tested positive, stating on Instagram: "It is very hard to process something like that, it will surely take me a long time. We knew this Olympic Games was different and with different rules, and here I am, it's my turn.

"I am isolated in a hotel where I will spend several days, and where the main objective is to take care of my health."

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