Tokyo 2020: Two South African footballers test positive for Covid-19 in Olympic Village


CNN International 18 July, 2021 - 07:22am 11 views

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AP sources: Refugee Team head Tegla Loroupe tests positive

Associated Press 18 July, 2021 - 03:52am

TOKYO (AP) — Former distance runner Tegla Loroupe, the chief of mission for the IOC’s Refugee Olympic Team, has tested positive for COVID-19, two people with knowledge of her condition have told The Associated Press.

Loroupe tested positive before the team was to depart its Doha, Qatar, training base for Tokyo. The team has delayed its arrival in Tokyo where the Olympics open on Friday because of Loroupe’s positive test. Team members are expected to start departing in the next few days, but Loroupe is expected to stay behind, according to the sources, who requested anonymity because they weren’t authorized to reveal medical information.

The International Olympic Committee issued a statement several days ago and said only that an unnamed “official” returned a positive test in the Refugee Team delegation. It said the 26 athletes in Doha and other officials had tested negative.

Loroupe’s positive test is one in a long line of athletes, team officials, and others who have tested positive for COVID-19, in and around the Tokyo Olympics that are to open on Friday after being delayed a year by the pandemic. Tokyo organizers confirmed on Sunday that two athletes staying in the Olympic Village had tested positive. They are the first athletes in the village to be reported positive.

Anne-Sophie Thilo, a press spokesperson for the team, declined to name the person who tested positive, but said most of the team will be in Tokyo in the next few days.

“If everything goes right, the whole team of athletes and coaches will be in Tokyo on the 20th (Tuesday),” Thilo told the AP.

The Refugee Olympic Team has been heavily promoted by the IOC, a humanitarian gesture that was introduced five years ago at the Rio Olympics in the form of a 10-member team. The team for Tokyo is to be twice as large and has been the focus of promotion, partially to counteract opposition in Japan to the Olympics and generate some goodwill.

The IOC would not confirm it was Loroupe that tested positive.

“You will appreciate that we are not in a position to provide names without the approval of the individuals concerned,” the IOC said in a statement to the AP. “However, we can confirm that the team members are able to train in Qatar, and we are looking at the next steps. We will provide information once decisions have been taken.”

In a statement earlier in the week, the IOC said the official who tested positive was isolated by Qatari public authorities and is considered asymptomatic.

The Qatari government did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Qatar, a tiny, energy-rich country on the Arabian Peninsula of 2.8 million people that will host the 2022 World Cup, has reported over 223,000 cases of the coronavirus and nearly 600 deaths.

Loroupe is a two-time winner of the New York City marathon, and in the late 90s she was a force from 10,000 meters through the marathon distance.

Associated Press Writers Jon Gambrell and Bassam Hatoum in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, contributed to this report.

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Simone Biles Heads to Olympics Practice and Sports Team USA Bathrobe After Landing in Tokyo

PEOPLE 17 July, 2021 - 12:42pm

On Saturday, the 24-year-old Olympic gold medalist shared a video of herself and her teammates heading to practice after they landed in Tokyo for the forthcoming sporting event.

The clip was posted on Biles' Instagram Story after she took part in a fun moment with fans, where she asked them to reveal a secret in a prompt on her social media page.

"I'm off to practice now yall," Biles wrote alongside the video. "Thanks for sharing your secrets. Im shook."

A day prior, the gymnast also shared a moving photo of herself after she landed in Tokyo, where she was seen rocking a Team USA Olympics bathrobe as she puckered her lips for the clip.

"TOKYO BOUND w/ your new pilots 💙✈️," Biles wrote on Instagram.

The athlete — who will be competing as a team alongside Sunisa Lee, Jordan Chiles, and Grace McCallum — also posted a picture of herself from the aircraft's cabin.

In the shot, Biles is seen holding up a blanket emblazoned with a design of a goat's head — a nod to the Olympian being dubbed by many as "the G.O.A.T." a.k.a. "the greatest of all time."

"@TeamUSA is taking the #RoadToTokyo to the skies – next stop, Japan!" she captioned the snap.

The Tokyo Olympics will be the second Summer Games for Biles, having already won four gold medals and a bronze in Rio de Janeiro in 2016.

Before making the U.S. Women's Olympic Gymnastics Team for the second time, she became the first woman to land the risky Yurchenko double pike at the U.S. Classic.

Last month, Biles opened up to PEOPLE about what she's looking forward to in Tokyo. "I'm excited to be in an atmosphere where everybody kind of wants the same thing and is striving for perfection and they're so dedicated and they've been trying so hard," she said. "So perseverance is what draws me to the Olympics, personally. I think that's what I'm most excited for."

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