Olympics: Australia athletes in isolation as US’s Kendricks Covid positive thumbnail

Olympics: Australia athletes in isolation as US’s Kendricks Covid positive

Multiple members of
Australia’s track and field team were placed in isolation after US pole vaulter
Sam Kendricks tested positive for coronavirus.

Athletics Australia said members of the team were isolating
after US chiefs confirmed two-time world champion Kendricks was out of the
Tokyo Games after a positive Covid-19 test.

“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,” Athletics Australia said in statement.

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

The statement did not say how many athletes were involved
but the Sydney Morning Herald reported the entire 63-strong track and field
team had been told to isolate.

Kendricks earlier became the latest high-profile withdrawal
from the Olympics after testing positive for coronavirus.

“We are saddened to confirm that Sam Kendricks tested
positive for Covid-19 and will not compete in the Olympic Games Tokyo
2020,” the United States Olympic and Paralympic Committee said on Twitter.

Organisers announced a daily record of 24 new Games-related
cases on Thursday, three of whom are athletes, taking the overall number of
positive cases to 193.

The figures do not include all cases at airports and in
training camps.

Dressel gold chase

In Olympics action, US swim star Caeleb Dressel notched his
second triumph of the Games to stay on track for a potential six golds.

Dressel arrived at the Olympics tipped to push for a Michael
Phelps-style medal haul and already has two wins under his belt, with a
potential four to come.

The 24-year-old powered to the wall in the men’s 100m
freestyle in a new Olympic record time of 47.02sec to dethrone Australia’s Kyle
Chalmers.

Dressel, who spearheaded the United States to the 4x100m
relay title earlier this week, will also race the 50m freestyle and 100m
butterfly and could feature in two other relays.

The swimmer, who won two relay golds in Rio, said he was
proud to claim his first individual title.

“I didn’t want to admit it but now I did it I can admit
it, it’s a lot different,” he said.

“You can’t rely on anyone else. It’s just you in the
water, there’s no one there to bail you out. It’s tough. It’s really tough. So
I’m happy to actually do it.”

Dressel’s 13 world titles have prompted inevitable
comparisons with Phelps — winner of eight Olympic golds at the 2008 Beijing
Games and 23 in total.

Only Phelps, Mark Spitz and Kristin Otto have won six or
more golds at a single Olympic Games in swimming.

Robert Finke won another gold for the United States in the
men’s 800m freestyle while Australia’s Zac Stubblety-Cook claimed the men’s
200m breaststroke gold in a new Olympic record time of 2:06.38.

China’s Zhang Yufei took gold in the women’s 200m butterfly
and China rounded off the morning session by smashing the world record in the
4x200m women’s freestyle relay, finishing ahead of the United States and
Australia.

The Olympic golf tournament has also lost stars to
coronavirus but started at Kasumisageki Country Club with a number of top
players still involved.

Austria’s Sepp Straka carded a 63 to set the early pace
before lightning forced the suspension of play.

Biles support

The women’s all-around gymnastics event is due to take place
on Thursday evening without Simone Biles, who arrived seeking to equal or even
better Soviet gymnast Larisa Latynina’s career haul of nine Olympic titles.

Biles’s decision to ditch a second event due to mental
health concerns, hot on the heels of her dramatic withdrawal from Tuesday’s
team event, has raised serious doubts about the American superstar’s further
participation in the Games.

“The outpouring love & support I’ve received has
made me realise I’m more than my accomplishments and gymnastics which I never
truly believed before,” the 24-year-old tweeted on Thursday.

Ten Nigerian athletes were among 18 competitors from
“high-risk” nations barred from competing after failing to meet
minimum standards for out-of-competition drug testing.

World Athletics’ independent anti-doping arm said the
athletes had failed to comply with rules that require athletes from countries
deemed to be at highest risk of doping to undergo three no-notice
out-of-competition tests in a 10-month period.

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