Tokyo Olympics 2020: Two members of Mexico’s baseball team test positive for Covid – latest updates
Two members of Mexico’s Olympic baseball team have tested positive for COVID-19 at the team hotel before their departure for the Tokyo Olympics, the federation said.
The athletes, Hector Velazquez and Sammy Solis, who tested positive on July 18, have been isolated, as have all team members pending results of more tests, it said.
“It was decided to isolate the two players immediately in their rooms of the national team hotel, as well as all the players and team coaching staff, until the medical laboratory delivers the PCR tests,” it said in a statement.
“All the protocols established by the Mexican Olympic Committee (COM) will be followed to safeguard the health of all the members of the national baseball team that will participate in the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.”
Mexico play their first Olympic tournament game on July 30 against the Dominican Republic in Yokohama.
Several dozen Olympics-related positive cases have been recorded since athletes and officials started gathering in their own countries for the Games or after arriving in Japan.
There have been 58 positive cases of Olympics-linked athletes, staff or officials recorded in Japan this month.
The sun, self-cleaning stickers and porridge: the secrets behind Team GB’s Tokyo 2020 training camp
Despite the disrupted build-up, every detail is being covered to ensure Team GB’s athletes hit peak performance in Tokyo. Our Athletics Correspondent Ben Bloom has all the details from Tokyo.
Preparing a team of more than 350 athletes for an Olympics is a gargantuan task. Sleep must be sound enough for them to reach competition in peak physical condition, training environments need to cater for every conceivable demand, and logistics should be someone else’s concern – anyone but the athletes themselves.
But without fine-tuning small details, the big things become meaningless. Which explains Team GB’s dedication to porridge.
In addition to ensuring 8,000 pre-made porridge pots had safely arrived before anyone even set foot inside Britain’s preparation camp in Yokohama, the team’s head chef personally took charge of one of the most important tasks ahead of these Tokyo Games: teaching a Japanese kitchen crew how to cook one of Britain’s best-loved breakfasts and something that is totally unfamiliar to them.
“Porridge is such a big thing with athletes but not big in Japan at all,” says Wendy Martinson, Team GB lead nutritionist.
“We had to get them to make a sample of porridge to see if it was up to scratch and actually they nailed it first time so we’ve now got two varieties of porridge each morning: a flavoured one and a plain one. They are going down a treat.”
Prince William full of praise for Olympic boxing hopeful Lauren Price
The middleweight boxer, currently ranked world number one, outlined the challenges she faced training at home during the pandemic, reports Victoria Ward.
The Duke of Cambridge joked “I’m not even good at one sport” as he wished Olympic boxing hopeful Lauren Price good luck for the Tokyo Games.
Prince William invited Miss Price, 27, to Kensington Palace to discuss her preparations for the Games, hearing how she had to balance training with driving a taxi at the weekends, “picking up all the drunks on a Friday and Saturday night”.
The Duke laughed: “I bet they didn’t mess with you though, Lauren.”
Olympic Village Covid-19 infection bubble already ‘broken’, says health expert
The so-called bubble to control Covid-19 infections at the Olympic Athlete’s Village in Tokyo is already “broken” and poses a risk of spreading infections to the general populace, a prominent public health expert has said.
Games officials on Sunday reported the first Covid-19 case among competitors in the athletes’ village in Tokyo where 11,000 athletes are expected to stay. Since July 2, Tokyo 2020 organisers have reported 58 positive cases among athletes, officials and journalists.
“It’s obvious that the bubble system is kind of broken,” said Kenji Shibuya, the former director of the Institute for Population Health at King’s College London.
“My biggest concern is, of course, there will be a cluster of infections in the village or some of the accommodation and interaction with local people.”
Insufficient testing at the border and the impossibility of controlling people’s movements mean that the Games could exacerbate the spread of the infectious Delta variant of the virus, he added.
International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach said last week that testing and quarantine protocols would leave “zero” risk of Games participants infecting residents in Japan.
Declarations like that only serve to confuse and anger people, Shibuya said, as actual conditions on the ground are “totally opposite”.
In April, Shibuya co-authored a commentary in the British Medical Journal that the Olympics must be “reconsidered” due to Japan’s inability to contain coronavirus cases.
New Covid-19 cases in Tokyo reached 1,410 on Saturday, a near six month high, while the Games are due to start in just three days.
Public health experts have warned that seasonal factors, increased mobility, and the spread of the Delta variant could lead to a surge past 2,000 cases per day in Tokyo by next month, levels that could drive the city’s medical system to breaking point.
Just 33 per cent of people in Japan have received at least one Covid-19 vaccine dose, among the lowest rate among wealthy countries, according to a Reuters tracker. The vaccination push has gained steam since last month, but recently ebbed due to supply and logistical snags.
Team GB athletes have spoken of their shock and described fearing for their Olympic dreams after six of their track and field team-mates were forced to isolate in Japan after being identified as close contacts of positive Covid cases.
The six athletes, plus two athletics staff members, were told they were close contacts after someone unconnected to Team GB on their flight to Japan was subsequently found to have Covid.
They were shut in their rooms at the Team GB preparation camp hotel in Yokohama, but all have since provided two negative PCR tests in the past 48 hours, allowing them some semblance of freedom while remaining isolated from the rest of their team-mates.
The athletes were allowed to return to outdoor training again on Monday morning after they were assigned their own separate space at the Todoroki Stadium. A section of the Team GB gym was also cordoned off for their use only.
You can read more of Ben Bloom’s report on the team’s panic here.
Six Polish swimmers sent home from Japan after admin blunder
The president of Poland’s swimming federation (PZP) has apologised after six athletes were sent home from the Tokyo Games due to an administrative error.
Poland had sent 23 swimmers to Japan but the PZP was forced to cut the squad down to 17 based on world governing body FINA’s qualifying rules.
PZP President Pawel Slominski apologised and said he fully understood the anger of the swimmers who returned home over the weekend.
“I express great regret, sadness and bitterness about the situation related to the qualification of our swimmers for the Olympic Games in Tokyo,” Slominski said in a statement
“Such a situation should not take place, and the reaction of the swimmers, their emotions, the attack on the Polish Swimming Federation is understandable to me and justified.”
He said the error was due to the “desire to allow as many players and coaches as possible to take part in the Games”.
Media reports identified the six swimmers as Alicja Tchorz, Bartosz Piszczorowicz, Aleksandra Polanska, Mateusz Chowaniec, Dominika Kossakowska and Jan Holub.
Tchorz, who competed at the 2012 and 2016 Games, expressed her anger on social media.
“Imagine dedicating five years of your life and striving for another start at the most important sporting event … giving up your private life and work, sacrificing your family … your dedication results in a total flop,” she said on Facebook.
Chowaniec added on Instagram: “I’m deeply shocked by what happened… this is an absurd situation for me that should never have happened. In fact, I hope to wake up from this nightmare eventually.”
Swimming news website SwimSwam reported several Polish swimmers had signed an open letter to the PZP seeking the resignation of the organisation’s entire board.
Poland have won just one gold medal in swimming history at the summer games, which was claimed by Otylia Jędrzejczak in 2004 during the 200m butterfly. She also won two silvers that year, claiming half of Poland’s total of six medals in Olympic swimming,