A Chilean taekwondo player and Dutch skateboarder have become the first athletes already in Japan for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics to be forced out of the Games with coronavirus.
Fernanda Aguirre, a Pan American Games bronze medallist in taekwondo, tested positive for Covid-19 on her arrival in the country, having produced a negative result before boarding her flight from Uzbekistan.
Candy Jones became the sixth athlete to return a positive test inside the Olympic Village, and given the women’s skateboarding event takes place on Monday, she will have no time to complete her period of quarantine to take part in the competition.
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Aguirre is asymptomatic, while it is not known whether Jones is struggling with the virus, though she posted on Instagram her feelings of devastation.
“I am heartbroken,” she said, as one of the contenders to win a medal having come close to a top three finish at previous X Games.
“Unfortunately I was tested positive for Covid-19 this morning, which means my Olympic journey ends here. I am feeling healthy and have done everything in my power to prevent this scenario and took all the precautions. Luckily we've been following the protocols so my fellow skateboarders still get to shine bright.
“I will need some time to let my broken heart heal and recover from this. Let's go Paris 2024.”
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Meanwhile, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the director-general of the World Health Organisation, told an International Olympic Committee meeting that eliminating cases was never likely, before backing the Games.
“The mark of success is making sure that any cases are identified, isolated, traced and cared for as quickly as possible and onward transmission is interrupted,” he said.
“The Olympics have the power to bring the world together, to inspire, to show what's possible.
"May the rays of hope from this land illuminate a new dawn for a healthy, safer and fairer world."
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