"Some days you've just got to attack the f*****g mountain, that's as simple as it is."

Those were the words of Adam Peaty during his pre-camp for Tokyo 2020. And boy has he attacked that mountain.

Five years ago, Peaty broke new ground to become an Olympic champion for the first time in Rio and set in motion a Team GB gold rush that would see them ultimately finish second in the medal table.

On this occasion, there was no world record – the only thing that is sure to secretly irritate this perfectionist who revels in finding new ways to push the limits of what is humanly possible – but not for the first time Peaty obliterated the competition to once again win Olympic gold in the 100 metres breaststroke.se

Whether his success can have the same sort of rousing effect on Team GB, only time will tell.

What is more certain is that Peaty must surely now be considered among the pantheon of Olympic greats.

At one stage in 2021, the 26-year-old was in possession of the 20 fastest 100m breaststroke times in history. It is mind-boggling dominance.

When the great Usain Bolt used to race there was a real awe about the way in which he had his opponents beaten by the time he was on the start line. It was mesmerising watching the sprint king, who just seemed to defy logic.

Peaty in the pool exudes a similar feeling. To witness this phenomenon in person is some experience. If you blink you might miss him.

Following his victory in the heats on Sunday, Peaty described Tokyo 2020 as "weird" without the crowds – with fans of course absent due to the coronavirus pandemic – and conceded it did "not feel like an Olympics".

He does have a point. Peaty's moment of triumph came on a day where Ariarne Titmus defeated Katie Ledecky in an epic to clinch the women's 400m freestyle – a race that really did deserve a full house – and Caeleb Dressel, tipped as an heir to American great Michael Phelps, won the first of what is likely to be multiple gold medals at these Games.

Such stars deserve a captivated audience. The cheers of their team-mates offered only slight consolation that their moments of glory are taking place in surreal circumstances.

But there is nothing strange now about seeing Peaty dominate in the pool and while the circumstances compared to his first crowning moment in Brazil could scarcely be more different, he continues to enhance his status as a supreme champion.

His latest victory was a moment of history – no British swimmer had ever defended an Olympic title before. Only three other swimmers from Britain have ever won multiple golds, and he is just the second man to defend the 100m breaststroke title after Japan's Kosuke Kitajima.

When you think of the great athletes Britain has produced – Steve Redgrave, Kelly Holmes, Chris Hoy, Laura Kenny, Jason Kenny – all belong in the category of elite Olympians.

That Peaty now too belongs in that same category is not even a debate. He is a cool competitor, but he is also a ferocious one. A contemplator, a thinker, a man who self-described himself as "liberated" by the circumstances of the past year, time that saw him become a father and learn to appreciate the important things in life as lockdowns and restrictions became the norm for us all.

What is scary is that you feel there is still new ground for Peaty, unbeaten in his event since 2014, to break.

Speaking prior to the Games, Peaty opened up about what makes him the athlete he is.

"It sounds very cliche but I'm very obsessed with continual improvement and pushing the boundaries of what's possible," he said then. 

"I don't want to end my career and go 'oh I could have done that or I should have done this'. It's that relationship with the team that makes me that person. But I think it's also I just love to race, I love to scrap and I like to dominate. That's why I swim, that's why I race it gives me something I can't get in normal life."

And even now with all he has achieved there still seems to be an unquenchable thirst to be the best, no taking the foot off the gas in a continued desire to go where no one has been before.

"No one is invincible, everyone can be beaten," he told a news conference following his victory in Tokyo.

"I'm a firm believer in that. If I didn't believe in that I wouldn't have the world record, it's about setting no limits. 

"Today could have gone either way. It's a morning final, you saw it this morning with such a close race with Ledecky and Titmus, it could have gone either way.

"Everyone is beatable, it's who wants it more and who is invested more in those races."

For most, owning the world record and becoming a double Olympic champion would be well beyond the pinnacle of the mountain.

For Peaty, it seems certain he will just keep on f*****g attacking it.

Jon Rahm has been ruled out of competing at the Tokyo Olympics after testing positive for COVID-19.

The Spanish Olympic Committee announced the world number one had returned a positive result on his third PCR test after competing at The Open at Royal St George's, having previously recorded two negative outcomes ahead of his appearance at the Games.

American Bryson DeChambeau was also ruled out of competing for the same reason on Sunday, having not yet travelled to play in Japan.

For Rahm, it is the second time he has tested positive in as many months. He had to withdraw from the Memorial Tournament on the PGA Tour when leading by six shots after 54 holes.

The 26-year-old won the U.S. Open upon his return to action, securing the first major of his career by one shot thanks to a birdie-birdie finish on a dramatic Sunday at Torrey Pines.

With a shortage of time and considering the health protocols in place for the Olympics, a replacement will not be selected. Spain still has one competitor left in the field in Adri Arnaus, the world number 166.

As for DeChambeau, he admitted to being "deeply disappointed" at missing out on Tokyo.

"Representing my country means the world to me and it is was a tremendous honour to make this team," he said in a statement released by the PGA Tour.

"I wish Team USA the best of luck next week in Tokyo. I will now focus on getting healthy, and I look forward to returning to competition once I am cleared to do so."

Patrick Reed will replace him, provided he clears coronavirus tests scheduled on Sunday and Monday before departing for Japan.

 

The quarantine experience has become routine for those travelling the world to play or watch sport during the coronavirus crisis.

It has been that way in Japan for the Tokyo Olympics. Depending on which country you arrive from, there may be a period of isolation to tolerate before being allowed to participate in the Games.

This has been the case for Stats Perform's journalist on the ground, Peter Hanson, who is approaching the end of a three-day quarantine at his hotel in order to comply with the rules for UK residents working in a media capacity in the Japanese capital.

Here, he provides five tips on how to survive quarantine…

Tip 1: Binge on Netflix

Admittedly this isn't a particularly novel idea but when you're pretty much confined to a hotel room for three days what better way to pass the time than with some easy watching?

It doesn't have to be Netflix…there are plenty of other streaming services available of course. But, right now I'm powering through the US version of The Office (even if that makes me feel a little traitorous towards the original UK edition, which – sorry folks – remains the significantly better show).

Tip 2: Reading

It's good to come prepared. Having undertaken a 12-and-a-half-hour flight to get to Tokyo before the three days of isolation even began, having a good book (or even a bad one really) just made good sense.

I'm a big fan of Harlan Coben's work, so with me in Tokyo is his thriller 'The Boy in the Woods', and also a book about the world's greatest football team…Sheffield Wednesday, penned by Sheffield Star journalist Alex Miller.

Tip 3: Bring out the bangers…

Admittedly this tip comes on the back of a bit of a head loss…but when in the moment, you have to fully embrace it folks!

Crack on with your Spotify, your Apple Music, or wherever you get your tunes from and let the music take control! Friday's morning get-up song for me belonged to Ronan Keating because, well, life is a rollercoaster right now…

Tip 4: Sick tricks!

This one is inspired by one of my best friends back home, who will often yell "sick tricks!" before doing something pretty juvenile or a very basic skill with the confidence and gusto of a trapeze artist… and it gets a laugh from me pretty much every time.

Luckily, just before I left my house in Sheffield I spotted a tennis ball to take with me and – recalling the feats of skills posted by several ATP and WTA stars online during their own Australian Open quarantines – decided to have a go at some of my own tennis-ball tricks…it did not go particularly well.

Tip 5: Work, work, work...

No, not the Rihanna song... although playing that on repeat would absolutely be a great way to spend your time in quarantine.

What I'm alluding to is the fact that at some point during a three-day quarantine, some work will have to be done.

Only, in this case I got distracted by my Football Manager save and decided that was also a pretty decent way to kill some time…

Graham Arnold revealed he had "visualised" Australia's impressive 2-0 win over Argentina in their Olympics opener – and said keeping Lionel Messi and Diego Maradona out of conversations was all-important.

Australia head coach Arnold saw his Olyroos team strike a major victory for the underdog with their Tokyo 2020 success in Sapporo, where goals from Lachlan Wales and Marco Tilio did the damage.

Although the Argentina team this year does not carry the same star quality as the 2004 and 2008 sides that featured Carlos Tevez and Lionel Messi respectively, the South Americans were expected to be on a high after their senior side lifted the Copa America trophy earlier this month.

Arnold's Australian troops were highly impressive in the Group C tussle, however, even though their coach still saw room for improvement.

"Nobody would have given us a chance apart from us. I've been visualising this performance for the last couple of weeks, I even visualised the score," Graham said.

"I believe in these boys and I believe so much in them that I'm not happy with our overall performance. I was happy with the work rate, the energy, but at times we turned over the ball too simply and too easily. We need to improve as we go on, and we will."

 

Arnold pointed to Australia having only one previous Olympic men's football win in the 2000s, a 5-1 win over Serbia and Montenegro in 2004 at the Athens Games.

"It's a great win, but we've done nothing yet. It's three points, we're off to a great start, the first win, but the important thing is improvement," the coach added.

"We didn't mention the name of the opposition, it's all about us. Sometimes when you mention a nation like Argentina's name, everyone just starts thinking of the players, Diego Maradona, Lionel Messi, and Copa America champions.

"It was more about focusing on ourselves for the last week and making sure all the players knew their roles, their jobs and building a lot of belief in the players that we could go out there and put in a good performance and win the game."

He vowed Australia were "here to compete for a gold medal" and offered up the victory to those locked down in Australia during the ongoing COVID-19 crisis.

"It was probably the last thing I mentioned to the players before they went on the pitch," he said. "Australia, New South Wales in particular, is going through a very tough time at the moment with COVID, with lockdown and I just said to the boys, 'A lot of families are locked down at home, let's put a smile on a lot of Australian faces tonight, give them a performance they will remember'.

"I really expect that a lot of people back at home who didn't give us much chance of winning before really enjoyed that. I expect we put a lot of smiles on a lot of faces ... for tonight anyway."

The journey towards Tokyo 2020 has been a long and uncertain one.

Postponed by 12 months as a result of the coronavirus pandemic that continues to wreak havoc across the globe, it was by no means certain the Olympics would happen at all.

But here we are, just a day away from the opening ceremony as the last of the athletes, officials and world's media descend on the Japanese capital for a Games like no other.

Here, Stats Perform's reporter on the ground, Peter Hanson, documents his journey from Sheffield to Tokyo in a behind-the-curtain look at what it has taken to be part of the Olympics.

ONLINE SYSTEMS AND IMPORTANT ORGANISED FUN

For me and thousands of others, the trip to Tokyo technically started months in advance. To put it lightly, the organisers absolutely love an online system. 

There's a system for accommodation details, there's a system for arrivals and departures at the airport, there's a system for registering health information, there's a system for each media organisation to nominate a Covid Liaison Officer (CLO) – whose job it is to inform Tokyo 2020 of any positive COVID-19 tests within the team. Given I'm the only full-time Stats Perform member on the ground in Tokyo that responsibility fell to me and I am responsible for…well, me.

On top of that, there's an Activity Plan to fill out, send back and ultimately get approval for by the Japanese government. 

Admittedly, on the surface you may think this all sounds like a bit of "organised fun" but in truth it's an extremely important part of the process as it allows you to list all the venues you plan on visiting for the first 14 days of your stay in Tokyo. Getting this ratified is crucial because for those first two weeks you have to agree not to stray anywhere outside of those destinations or your hotel, while the use of public transport is not permitted.

A day before I travelled, I received a call from Tokyo 2020 to tell me my plan will be approved on the condition I agree to quarantine for three days at my hotel due to conditions on UK residents entering Japan amid a spike in coronavirus cases in Britain.

GO WITH THE (LATERAL) FLOW

With all of that (finally) taken care of, the path is fiddly yet relatively clear – but it's a path that involves testing, testing and testing again.

Indeed, against the wisdom of our parents who tell us from a very young age not to stick foreign objects in our orifices, I start the process of taking a lateral flow test every day a fortnight out from my flight to Tokyo.

As each day progresses, the results of these tests become more and more nervy as any positive case at that point would have almost certainly curtailed any hopes I had of covering the Games from Tokyo and ensured months of stress amounted to nought.

Then the really crucial tests come just days before departure. To enter Japan, a certificate of a negative test must be produced – one within 96 hours of take-off and one within 72.  

Helpfully, the British Olympics Association helped facilitate these tests via Randox, a private testing company, and both certificates arrived with ample time before my flight.

THE DAY OF…

So, with activity plans in place and tests conducted the real "fun" could begin…

My own personal journey on the day began with a 6am wake-up alarm in order to take one last lateral flow test, prior to a 10am train from Sheffield to London St Pancras. From there, it's another hour on the Piccadilly line getting from central London to Heathrow Airport.

At this stage it's time to let you into a little personal secret. I am one of "those" people. The kind of people who like to arrive around six weeks early at the airport to make sure I'm on time for my flight…

I was at the airport six hours before my flight, which meant I had two hours to kill before I could even check in my case and, understandably, a contingent from TeamGB has first dibs on processing their luggage to delay things a little longer.

The check-in process at this stage was relatively normal, bar having to show proof of the negative COVID certificate, and the journey through security was also straightforward.

By the time I was at the other side, there was still around three hours until departure leaving ample time for that age-old British tradition…a beer and burger at Wetherspoons.

APP WOE AND LENGHTY WAITS AT HANEDA

By now (partly due to my own being late to the airport anxiety) the journey to Tokyo had already lasted around nine hours…now there was just the little matter of a 12-and-a-half-hour flight to Haneda Airport to get through.

The flight itself was nothing out of the ordinary, save for a few bumpy moments of turbulence. It was your standard fill out the customs forms, eat the flight food (I'm one of those strange folk who actually quite enjoys the in-flight meals…) and watch the on-board entertainment. My choices were "Avengers: Endgame", "Joker" and couple of episodes of the Big Bang Theory…yes, I know, the last one is completely rubbish but I needed something to pass the time as any attempt at sleep was now futile!

So, the flight itself was pretty mundane but this was where the sleep-deprived hard work began.

As soon as everyone stepped off the plane, we were split into two lines. One for domestic arrivals, who sailed onto immigration with a breeze. The other, significantly longer, line was for media and other Games-related stakeholders.

This was the start of the more arduous part of the process. Remember earlier when I mentioned the love of systems? Well, one of them was to have downloaded and logged into a health app named OCHA designed specifically for the Games which I was supposed to have signed into using my accreditation details…the only problem for me is it wasn't working and hadn't been for weeks. Whenever I tried to log in, I was just get greeted by an error message and weeks of back-and-forth with the relevant helpline had not yielded success.

Now, having OCHA was supposed to be a prerequisite to get into the country but luckily there was a workaround whereby I could fill out an online health questionnaire and print off a written pledge. Sounds simple enough, but it turns out the issue of the app not working was not exactly rare…

At this stage, it's only fair to pay credit to the rushed staff at Haneda, going round taking accreditation numbers, liaising with Games officials and eventually helping the hordes of media and officials progress to the next part of the process after over a groggy two-hour wait.

VALIDATION AND LAMINATION

After that painstaking delay, the remainder of the airport process was lengthy but impressively smooth.

Firstly, there's the small case of another COVID test. I first of all registered and picked up the sample kits and proceeded to the next room, which looked a little like something out of a sci-fi movie and entered a private booth. The only difference here, at least for me was that, instead of using swabs like back in the UK, the method of choice is a saliva antigen test where you essentially spit into a tube until you have enough of a sample to be analysed. It's about as grim as it sounds.

Feeling slightly disgusting, my sample was dropped off and there was another lengthy walk through to the holding area where I waited for my test number to appear on a screen, almost like being at a deli counter in the supermarket.

After around an hour, I received a negative result and the finish line was almost in sight. But first, it was time to get my accreditation validated.

Again, the logistics of this process were pretty flawless – it takes a good five-to-10 minutes to reach the accreditation desk but the route is perfectly sign-posted and in no time at all I have my fancy laminated accreditation on a lanyard, which will be used to get into all venues for the Games.

At last, it was time to go through immigration, whereby I underwent the typical scrutiny you face when entering a country, and – much to my delight – despite a three-and-a-half-hour process, my luggage was still waiting on the carousel at the other side.

SHUTTLE BUSES AND FANCY TAXI DOORS

This is nothing against Haneda, or the awesome people organising this huge logistical task, but it was a real relief to be leaving the airport.

Feeling a little like a D-list Hollywood actor, when I arrived in the departures hall I was whisked off outside by more helpful staff towards a shuttle bus, which took me to a taxi pick-up point around 20 minutes away.

Here, each person was assigned to an individual vehicle. After several attempts to open the passenger door, a kind lady helpfully pointed out that they are automatic and will open when the driver enters the car…needless to say the sight of the door swinging open of its own accord blew my tiny South Yorkshire mind.

Another 20-minute journey followed until – at last – I arrived at my hotel, checked-in and settled down into my room…some 27 hours after leaving Sheffield.

The Tokyo Olympics officially got underway on Wednesday as hosts Japan defeated Australia 8-1 in softball in Fukushima.

The commencement of softball, which returns to the Olympics for the first time since 2008, precedes Friday's Opening Ceremony for the controversial Tokyo Olympics.

Softball, along with women's football, both begin on Wednesday, with men's football to commence on Thursday.

Australia registered the first run of the Olympics when Michelle Cox touched down on home plate in the first inning but Japan raced away with the win.

Naito Minori hit a two-run home run at the bottom of the third inning to open up a 3-1 lead for Japan. The hosts added three runs in the fourth, aided by a two-run home run to left field from Yamato Fujita, before Yu Yamamoto homered in the fifth.

In the opening day of softball, Italy are also due to play the United States, followed by Mexico and Canada in Fukushima.

The 2020 Games, delayed by a year due to the global health pandemic, will be held mostly without spectators due to a state of emergency being declared in Tokyo.

The number of new coronavirus cases in the Japanese capital topped 1,000 for five days running before dropping to 727 on Monday.

Tokyo Olympics organising committee chief Toshiro Muto has not ruled out cancelling the Games at the last minute should there be a surge in coronavirus cases.

Officials announced a further nine positive cases among those linked to the Games on Tuesday, taking the overall number of people infected since the start of July to 71.

That total includes South Africa's men's footballers Thabiso Monyane and Kamohelo Mahlatsi testing positive while inside the athletes' village over the weekend.

A number of other athletes have been forced to isolate after coming into close contact with an individual that has contracted the disease.

With just three days to go until the global sporting event's opening ceremony, and with the first events starting as soon as Wednesday, director general Muto will continue monitoring infection levels in the hope they do not spiral out of control.

"We can't predict what will happen with the number of coronavirus cases. So we will continue discussions if there is a spike in cases," he said at a news conference.

"We have agreed that based on the coronavirus situation, we will convene five-party talks again.

"At this point, the coronavirus cases may rise or fall, so we will think about what we should do when the situation arises."

Around 11,000 athletes from 205 national Olympic committees are expected to stay at the Olympic Village over the next three weeks.

The 2020 Games, delayed by a year due to the global health pandemic, will be held mostly without spectators due to a state of emergency being declared in Tokyo.

The number of new coronavirus cases in the Japanese capital topped 1,000 for five days running before dropping to 727 on Monday.

Amid concerns from the wider population over the Games going ahead, Japan's chef de mission Tsuyoshi Fukui insisted a number of safety measures are in place to stop the virus spreading.

"Under these circumstances, we must admit that COVID-19 is not subsiding," Fukui said on Tuesday. "We have to pay tribute to many people that enabled us to start the Games.

"We will give our utmost efforts so that the athletes can do their best. We will, as Team Japan, never forget the sense of appreciation. As of Monday night, the Japanese athletes staying at the Athletes' Village is 236.

"We have seen more and more athletes from other nations enter the Village, but there are rigorous COVID-19 countermeasures enforced and so far, there has been no major issues.

"Including myself, athletes and other members are taking antigen tests every day, as well as using an app to monitor our health situations.

"Every time we enter the Athletes' Village, our temperatures are checked, and we disinfect our hands.

"In the dining hall, each seat is separated by acrylic boards. Also, everyone is also wearing face masks – so we have a strong sense that rigorous measures against the spread of COVID-19 are in place by the organising committee."

He added: "There are various opinions regarding the Games and we are aware of that. We would like to earnestly listen to and take these opinions into account, but at the same time the mission of the Japanese delegations is to establish an environment where an athlete could focus on sports.

"So through sports we want to deliver hope and bravery and to make sure that each athlete can do their best in their performance."

Olympics chief Thomas Bach revealed he masked his concerns about Tokyo 2020 going ahead because of fears the Games might "fall to pieces".

Bach is president of the International Olympic Committee, which he said "had to show a way out of this crisis" in order for the global event to go ahead amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Speaking on Tuesday in Tokyo, Bach said the IOC had experienced daily concerns about the Olympics being able to proceed but had to present a positive message to stakeholders including sporting federations, sponsors, the Japanese government and broadcasters.

Had the IOC been open about worries for the Games, which were delayed by a year due to the global health crisis, Bach said it could have triggered a chain of events that would have seen the Olympics collapse.

Instead, the Games get under way this week, with the opening ceremony due to take place on Friday.

Bach said: "Over the past 15 months, we had to take daily decisions on very uncertain grounds. We had doubts every day. We deliberated and we discussed. There were sleepless nights. Like everyone else in the world, we did not know, I did not know, what the future would hold."

Bach appeared to scoff at any suggestion of the IOC deciding to "blindly force ahead at any price" and spoke of the "extreme stress test of the coronavirus crisis".

"Imagine for a moment what it would have meant if the leader of the Olympic movement, the IOC, would have added to the already many doubts surrounding the Olympic Games, if we would have poured fuel onto this fire," Bach said.

"How could we have convinced the athletes to continue to prepare for the Olympic Games by adding to their uncertainty?

"How could we have convinced all the other stakeholders to remain committed to the Olympic Games if we would have even deepened their already serious doubts.

"Our doubts could have become a self-fulfilling prophecy. The Olympic Games could have fallen to pieces. This is why, we had to keep these doubts to ourselves. This today I can admit and say it, it also weighed on us, it weighed on me.

"But in order to arrive at this day today, we had to give confidence. We had to show a way out of this crisis. We had to provide stability. We had to build trust. We had to give hope."

The IOC announced updated COVID-19 case figures for the Games on Tuesday, with 40 confirmed cases involving residents of Japan and 31 affecting those from overseas.

A female United States gymnast has tested positive for coronavirus while training in Tokyo ahead of the Olympics, the US Olympic Committee (USOC) has confirmed.

The unnamed athlete was an alternate – a team member included as a reserve – and will now isolate along with another team member who has been identified as a close contact.

"The health and safety of our athletes, coaches and staff is our top priority," a USOC statement read.

"We can confirm that an alternate on the women's artistic gymnastics team tested positive for COVID-19.

"Out of respect for the individual's privacy, we cannot provide more information at this time."

The positive test comes just four days before the delayed Games begins, with fellow US female gymnast Simone Biles set to be one of the stars of the competition.

The 24-year-old won four gold medals and a bronze at Rio 2016 and will be looking to add to that haul when the women's gymnastics competition starts on July 25.

It was also confirmed on Monday that Czech Republic beach volleyball player Ondrej Perusic tested positive for COVID-19.

Perusic and playing partner David Schweiner are due to begin their Tokyo 2020 campaign against Latvia on July 26, but the Czech Olympic Committee will seek to postpone the game until Perusic is cleared to play.

The number of Games-linked individuals to have tested positive for coronavirus since testing began on July 1 stood at 60 on Monday.

South Africa's men's football pair Thabiso Monyane and Kamohelo Mahlatsi were the first two athletes inside the Olympic Village to test positive over the weekend.

Around 11,000 athletes from 205 national Olympic committees are expected to stay at the village over the next three weeks.

The 2020 Games, delayed by a year due to the global health pandemic, will be held mostly without spectators due to a state of emergency being declared in Tokyo.

Infection rates in the Japanese capital have topped 1,000 for five days running, with a seven-day average of 1,068 as of Sunday.

Eight members of Great Britain's Tokyo Olympics athletics team are self-isolating after coming into close contact with an individual who tested positive for COVID-19.

The six athletes and two staff members, who each tested negative for coronavirus before flying to Japan last week, are now under the supervision of Team GB's medical team.

The individual who tested positive for coronavirus is not from the British delegation.

Team GB chef de mission, Mark England, said: "This is disappointing news for the athletes and staff, but we absolutely respect the protocols in place.

"We will offer them every support during this period and we are hopeful that they will be able resume training again soon."

The number of Games-linked individuals to have tested positive for coronavirus since testing began on July 1 now stands at 58 as of Monday, a rise of three from Sunday's update.

The latest three individuals to have tested positive – a Games-concerned personnel, a Tokyo 2020 contractor and a member of the media – will isolate for 14 days in hotel rooms.

No further athletes contracting the illness will be considered good news for officials after three individuals tested positive in the athletes' village over the weekend.

Two of those were confirmed on Sunday to be Thabiso Monyane and Kamohelo Mahlatsi of the South Africa men's football team, with the other being the team's video analyst.

Twenty-one South African players and officials have been identified as close contacts of the pair and must also isolate to stop the virus spreading in the Olympic Village.

Around 11,000 athletes from 205 national Olympic committees are expected to stay at the village over the next three weeks.

The 2020 Games, delayed by a year due to the global health pandemic, officially begins on Friday and will be held mostly without spectators due to a state of emergency being declared in Tokyo.

Infection rates in the Japanese capital have topped 1,000 for five days running, with a seven-day average of 1,068 as of Sunday.

Coco Gauff has tested positive for COVID-19 and must miss the Olympic Games in Tokyo, the American tennis prodigy announced on Sunday.

Gauff, who reached the last-16 stage at Wimbledon before losing to Angelique Kerber, has passed the $1million mark for prize-money in a season for the first time this year, rising to 25th in the WTA rankings.

The 17-year-old has a win-loss record of 31-12 for the campaign so far, and won the Emilia-Romagna Open title on clay in May.

She announced her news on social media, writing: "I am so disappointed to share the news that I have tested positive for COVID and won't be able to play in the Olympic Games in Tokyo.

"It has always been a dream of mine to represent the USA at the Olympics, and I hope there will be many more chances for me to make this come true in the future. I want to wish TEAM USA best of luck and a safe Games for every Olympian and the entire Olympic family."

The United States Tennis Association said it was "saddened" by the news, adding: "The entire USA Tennis Olympic contingent is heartbroken for Coco.

"We wish her the best as she deals with this unfortunate situation and hope to see her back on the courts very soon. We know Coco will join all of us in rooting on the other Team USA members who will be travelling to Japan and competing in the coming days."

Gauff joins a host of star names from tennis who have been ruled out, or have ruled themselves out, of the trip to Tokyo.

Serena Williams decided she would not play even before suffering a leg injury at Wimbledon, while Simona Halep, Sofia Kenin, Victoria Azarenka, Bianca Andreescu and Kerber are among other major absentees from the women's draw.

Duncan Scott intends to "control the controllables" at the Tokyo Olympics and has given no thought to repeating the anti-doping protest he made at the World Championships two years ago.

Team GB swimmer Scott made headlines in Gwangju when, after winning bronze in the 200 metres freestyle, he refused to share the podium with gold medal winner Sun Yang.

Sun, who previously served a three-month doping ban in 2014, was at the time subject to a Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) case over a smashed vial during a drugs test. Last month CAS reduced an eight-year ban to four years backdated to May 2020, meaning he could potentially compete at the Paris Olympics in 2024.

Following the podium snub, Sun reacted angrily to Scott and appeared to shout "you're a loser, I'm a winner" at this rival.

Scott insists his actions at the time were not personal and merely a message at promoting a clean sport, while his focus in the coming month is purely on affecting his own performance.

"I don't really know [if the situation has improved], obviously we've had COVID so there were no competitions in 2020," Scott, who collected two golds and three silvers at the rescheduled European Championships in May, told a round-table of journalists. 

"I would say since then I can only really control the controllables. I know that's so cliche but especially with COVID and with dates moving about it's made me think even less about things I can't influence. 

"I can't affect it so why should I bother about it? It's not something I've thought about to be honest.

"I think then, doing it and making that stance was for a purpose of clean sport it was nothing personal against anyone. And I think that was seen in the right way, several people have made their voices heard for those reasons.

"I think [fellow Team GB swimmer Adam] Peaty comes out and speaks about it well a lot, as a team-mate of his in different competitions I've got to back what he says and the way he puts it across I think is really well."

Several athletes voiced concerns at reduced drug testing during the height of the coronavirus pandemic – which caused a postponement of the Games – last year, but Scott added: "I can't control it, it's not something I think about. 

"If I perform at my best I'll be there or thereabouts. I did some nice drops at the trials and for me I've really just got to focus on myself.

"Swimming isn't like many team sports, you can't influence what someone does in the lane next to you, you've just got to focus on your own race."

Last month, Scott swapped the swimming cap for a graduation cap after receiving a 2:1 in Business and Sports Studies at the University of Stirling.

Scott, who is dyslexic, said he may revisit his studies further down the line, but for now is focused on his goals in the pool.

"Personally, I found it really challenging, as not much of a school person at all I found that really difficult so to be able to do a degree in itself and be offered a place was great, and I thought I may as well while I'm swimming," he added.

"I think halfway through my second year I was like I need to try and sort something out with the uni I'm finding this really difficult to manage. And the uni were great, I did my first two years full-time, then split third and fourth year up. 

"I would have actually finished in 2020 but decided to take January to June out, I was like the Olympics [are happening] I'll take that out – never happened! 

"I did really enjoy it, I found it really challenging which I think potentially was a really good thing. Being dyslexic and not really enjoying school too much and being stuck in a classroom I'm really proud of the fact I was able to get a 2:1. 

"It may be something I go back to and potentially do a Masters but I can't see that for a while. I'd like to do the next cycle and just focus on swimming – there are a lot of meets next year, with all the governing bodies not really talking to each other you've got Europeans, commies [Commonwealth Games] and Worlds all next year, I was just delighted to finish it to be honest."

Scott, who won two silver relay medals at Rio 2016, says he takes inspiration from some of Scotland's finest competitors, such as cycling legend Chris Hoy and tennis great Andy Murray as he aims to earn more accolades in Tokyo.

"I don't really know them, I say I sort of still look up to many of them, I wouldn't put myself in the same bracket at all," he said.

"Personally, I used to look up a lot to – not that I don't anymore it sounds bad – but Chris Hoy for example, and the way Murray conducts himself on and off the tennis court I think is phenomenal. 

"I find it inspiring the way he still plays and people ask why he still competes and he says he just enjoys the hard work, that's quite refreshing to hear."

The first two athletes to test positive for coronavirus in Tokyo's Olympic Village have been confirmed as members of South Africa's men's football team.

Games organisers announced in their daily update on Sunday that there had been 10 positive cases in the latest round of testing, taking the overall total this month to 55.

That includes three individuals based in the athletes' village, with an event official previously testing positive on Saturday.

The South African Football Association released a statement later on Sunday confirming Thabiso Monyane and Kamohelo Mahlatsi were the pair to return positive tests.

Orlando Pirates right-back Monyane and Moroka Swallows attacking midfielder Mahlatsi, plus video analyst Mario Masha, will now isolate in a hotel room for 14 days.

A fourth South African participant, rugby sevens coach Neil Powell, also produced a positive result. All four individuals tested negative before flying to Japan this week.

Team South Africa chief medical officer Dr Phatho Zondi said in a statement: "Every member of Team South Africa required full medical clearance as an eligibility criteria. 

"In addition, they were encouraged to isolate for two weeks pre-departure, monitor health daily, report any symptoms, and produce two negative nasopharyngeal PCR tests taken within 96 hours of departure, as per Tokyo 2020 requirements.

"The timing of the positive results suggests that the PCR test in these individuals was done during the incubation period of the infection, which is how they could be negative in South Africa and then positive in Japan. 

"They are now in isolation where they will continue to be monitored and will not be allowed to train or have any physical contact with the rest of the squad."

South Africa are scheduled to face tournament hosts Japan in their opening Group A game next Thursday, before taking on France and Mexico on July 25 and July 28 respectively.

Sunday's news of two athletes testing positive for COVID-19 inside the athletes' village will raise further concerns over the Olympics going ahead as planned.

The 2020 Games, already delayed by a year due to the global health pandemic, officially begins on Friday and will be held mostly without spectators due to a state of emergency being declared in Tokyo.

Infection rates in the Japanese capital have topped 1,000 for four days running.

Around 11,000 athletes from 205 national Olympic committees are expected to stay at the village over the next three weeks.

International Olympic Committee president Thomas Bach reiterated on Saturday that the first positive case posed no risk to the Japanese population.

"We are well aware of the scepticism a number of people have here in Japan," he added at a news conference. "My appeal to the Japanese people is to welcome the athletes for their competitions."

South Africa have confirmed Bongi Mbonambi, Scarra Ntubeni and Dan du Preez have been cleared to link up with the squad after completing their mandatory self-isolation period following positive COVID-19 tests results.

The trio were forced to sit out South Africa A's victory over the British and Irish Lions on Wednesday, as well as the shock 17-14 defeat to the Bulls at Cape Town Stadium.

With six days to go until the series opener against the Lions in Cape Town, all three players have been cleared to resume training with their team-mates.

South Africa had not played a Test match in 20 months prior to beating Georgia two weeks ago, and Kwagga Smith accepts there is a lot of work ahead for the reigning world champions.

"We haven't played Test matches in almost two years, so we got together and started working on it in the last three games and we can now analyse that," he told SA Rugby's official website.

"We need to use our opportunities because in Test matches there aren't many of them, so we have to convert them into points, and we have to sharpen up and get into our system and enforce it onto them."

The majority of the Boks' fringe players failed to impress in the defeat to Bulls, whereas the Lions flexed their muscles with a 49-3 win over the Stormers in their final warm-up match.

Cobus Reinach, one of the rare shining lights for South Africa on Saturday, agrees with Smith that a big improvement is needed if his side are to stop Warren Gatland's men.

"We left a lot of opportunities on the park, but that is something for us to look at, and each one of us has to look at our performance," he said.

"We can improve, and we have to ensure that we do better when we find ourselves in a similar situation. We are aligned as a squad and we know what we have to do.

"We need to execute what we want to do at a platinum standard, and everyone just needs to do their job and make sure they do it well.

"Collectively we didn’t put our stamp down, but we can fix that, and we are feeling confident going forward."

Two athletes in Tokyo's Olympic Village have tested positive for coronavirus ahead of the Games, organisers confirmed on Sunday.

The pair - listed as non-residents of Japan - will now isolate in a hotel room for 14 days. It takes the total number of known cases in the athletes' village to three, after an official had also tested positive.

There has already been a total of 55 cases linked to the Olympics this month, 10 of which were added to the list on Sunday, with another athlete from outside the village also contracting the virus.

Infection rates in Tokyo have topped 1,000 for four days running, raising further concerns about the global event going ahead.

The 2020 Games, delayed by a year due to the global health pandemic, officially begins on Friday and will be held mostly without spectators due to a state of emergency being declared in Tokyo.

Around 11,000 athletes from 205 national Olympic committees are expected to stay at the village over the next three weeks.

International Olympic Committee president Thomas Bach reiterated on Saturday that the first positive case posed no risk to the Japanese population.

"We are well aware of the scepticism a number of people have here in Japan," he added at a news conference. 

"My appeal to the Japanese people is to welcome the athletes for their competitions."

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