Australian track and field trio remain isolated during Tokyo Games after COVID contact

The Australian track and field trio that came in contact with the American pole vaulter to remain isolated during the Tokyo Games

  • The trio had to isolate themselves after hugging and shaking hands with the American Olympian
  • Australian athletes can compete if they keep repeating negative COVID tests
  • Australian team doctor said they would be tested for COVID-19 twice a day
  • The athletics program started Friday morning with 11 Australians in action

Three members of the Australian Olympic track and field team remain isolated during the Games after their contact with leading American pole vaulter Sam Kendricks, who was banned from Tokyo due to COVID-19.

The two unnamed Australian athletes will be able to compete if they continue to repeat negative COVID-19 tests, but they and a coach will be kept out of the village, according to Australian mission team chief Ian Chesterman.

“We have made the decision to continue to isolate the three people from the athletics team as a precautionary measure,” Chesterman said at a press conference in Tokyo on Friday.

Australian team chief Ian Chesterman has made the decision to isolate three of the Australian members for the remainder of the matches, but they will be allowed to participate if they continue to return negative COVID-19 tests

Australian team chief Ian Chesterman has made the decision to isolate three of the Australian members for the remainder of the matches, but they will be allowed to participate if they continue to return negative COVID-19 tests

“Even though they tested negative today, we want to make sure they keep testing negative and we want to make sure we continue to take care of our team.”

Chesterman said the AOC made sure that the affected parties were very comfortable in their “isolation center” and that the athletes could still train and compete.

“We are doing everything we can to make their campaign as normal as possible now, albeit from a position of team-imposed isolation.

Chesterman said the AOC made sure that the affected parties were very comfortable in their “isolation center” and that the athletes could still train and compete.

“It’s just the between competition and between training that they’re going to live in isolation that we’ve established.

“We also recognize the need to help them deliver their best performance on the day.

“We don’t want the whole Olympic campaign to fall apart, so we’re trying to work really hard to make sure it’s the best it can be for them, while also working really hard to make sure the Olympic campaigns and all of our other athletes in the village are also maintained and protected.’

The rest of the 41 Australian athletes and 13 officials had returned to ‘normal village life’ after their temporary isolation on Thursday when the trio reported their informal contact with the double world champions.

The fully vaccinated Aussie trio had to go into isolation after casually coming into contact with American World Champion Sam Kendricks as they hugged and shook hands with the American track and field star.

The fully vaccinated Aussie trio had to go into isolation after casually coming into contact with American World Champion Sam Kendricks as they hugged and shook hands with the American track and field star.

The fully vaccinated Aussie trio had to go into isolation after casually coming into contact with American World Champion Sam Kendricks as they hugged and shook hands with the American track and field star.

The fully vaccinated trio had met and hugged the American athlete and shook hands, Australian team doctor David Hughes said.

“In terms of the level of risk, I estimate it to be low to moderate,” Hughes said.

“They were outside wearing masks… but we’re not taking any chances.”

Hughes said they would be tested twice a day, undergoing an antigen test and also a PCR test.

Japan is struggling to contain the highly transmissible Delta strain of the virus, with daily cases exceeding 10,000 for the first time on Thursday and the city of Tokyo in a state of emergency.

The athletics program kicked off Friday morning with 11 Australians in action on opening day at Tokyo Stadium.

The athletics program kicked off Friday morning with 11 Australians in action on opening day at Tokyo Stadium.

The athletics program kicked off Friday morning with 11 Australians in action on opening day at Tokyo Stadium.

The athletics program kicked off Friday morning with 11 Australians in action on opening day at Tokyo Stadium.

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