THE covid19 pandemic is threatening to put a damper on the 2020 Tokyo Olympics as more than 50 people associated with the Olympics have tested positive for the virus. However, TT track and field athlete Akanni Hislop and boxing coach Reynold Cox are staying optimistic that the games will be relatively safe.
The Olympics, which will be held from Friday until August 8, were postponed by one year because of the pandemic but the virus is still creating a challenge for organisers of the event.
Three athletes staying at the Olympic village have tested positive including one of Czech Republic men’s beach volleyball players and two South Africa footballers, according to a report on the Associated Press on Monday.
The report also said an alternate on the US women’s gymnastics team is the latest person to test positive. The athlete tested positive at a training camp in Japan.
Another report on USA Today said 58 people affiliated with the Olympics tested positive between July 1 and Monday.
Tokyo has seen a rise in covid19 cases over the past few months and the city is now under a state of emergency.
A team of 57 athletes and officials from TT will represent this country at the Olympic Games including men’s 4x100-metre athlete Hislop and Cox.
Cox, along with TT boxer Aaron Prince and fellow coach Rawlson Dopwell, will leave Russia on Tuesday for Tokyo. The boxing contingent participated in a training camp in Russia leading up to the Olympics.
Cox, in a WhatsApp message to Newsday, said he is confident the games will still be a success.
“I believe it will be safe. There are protocols in place to stop infected persons from entering the Olympic Games and a lot of measures are in place for people who test positive after entering.”
Cox, Prince and Dopwell all tested negative after their latest tests on Friday and Saturday.
Hislop, who will make his Olympic debut, said the recent cases did not affect his mental state.
In a WhatsApp voice note, Hislop said, “Mentally I would not say I am affected by it because I feel like we have been through an entire season running and I have not contracted covid or had to postpone any training because of covid. I feel like once I follow the correct protocols and do what I have to do, wear my mask I feel like I will be on point to still be able to compete and not contract covid.”
Athletes must adhere to strict covid19 guidelines including a three-day quarantine upon arrival and daily tests.
Athletes will stay in a bubble which means they are not allowed to interact with the general public.