Three athletes, 1 IOC member test positive for Covid-19 less than a week before start of Olympic games

Published July 18, 2021
An athlete from Ukraine walks to collect her arrows as she practices for the 2020 Summer Olympics at Yumenoshima Park Archery Field, on Sunday, in Tokyo. — AP
An athlete from Ukraine walks to collect her arrows as she practices for the 2020 Summer Olympics at Yumenoshima Park Archery Field, on Sunday, in Tokyo. — AP

Two athletes living in the Olympic Village have tested positive for Covid-19, the first to do so with the Tokyo Games opening on Friday.

Organisers confirmed the positive tests on Sunday, saying both were listed as non-Japanese. No names or other details were provided.

Organisers also said another athlete had tested positive but this person was not residing in the Olympic Village. This athlete was also identified as “non-Japanese”.

Also on Sunday, the first International Olympic Committee (IOC) member was reported as positive. He recorded a positive test on Saturday while entering a Tokyo airport.

The International Olympic Committee confirmed the test and identified him as Ryu Seung-min of South Korea. He won an Olympic gold medal in table tennis in the 2004 Olympics.

He was reportedly being held in isolation. Reports said he was asymptomatic.

IOC President Thomas Bach had said last week there was “zero” risk of athletes in the village passing on the virus to Japanese or other residents of the village.

Organisers say since July 1, 55 people linked to the Olympics have reported positive tests. This number does not include athletes or others who may have arrived for training camps but are not yet under the “jurisdiction” of the organising committee.

The Olympic Village on Tokyo Bay will house 11,000 Olympic athletes and thousands of other support staff.

Tokyo recorded 1,410 new Covid-19 cases on Saturday, the highest in six months. It was the 28th straight day that cases were higher than seven days previous.

The Olympics will open on Friday under a state of emergency in Tokyo and three neighbouring prefectures. The emergency order lasts until Aug 22. The Olympics close on Aug 8.

Fans — local and from abroad — have been banned for all Olympic events in Tokyo and the three neighbouring prefectures.

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