Tokyo 2023: Six British Olympic Athletes Isolated with Permission to Train

by N. Vasiljevic  ·  July 23, 2021

Six British athletes from the national Olympic team have been isolating with permission to train alone, with the possibility to return to full training later this week. According to the latest COVID-19 data, there are nine news cases of infection among the Games staff.

The six athletes from the United Kingdom have been forced into self-isolation after a passenger on their flight to Tokyo tested positive.

All six had their COVID tests returned negative, so they have been granted permission to train socially distanced from the team’s coaches. They will continue to prepare for the Games on those terms before returning to full training by the end of the week. A return to the full training regiment will depend on everyone returning one more negative PCR test.

This information came after the confirmation that there were nine new COVID-19 cases among all Games-related personnel, bringing the total to 67. This number also includes two athletes who had a positive test on Monday, July 19 – a gymnast from the United States who is a team reserve and a Czech volleyball player. Additionally, the close contacts of positive cases in the football and rugby 7s team of South Africa have been cut from 21 to 18.

Daniel Rowden, a team GB 800m runner, said many members of the British party had been left “in a little bit of a panic” following news of their isolation.

In an interview with Eurosport, he said: “To be locked in a room and not be able to train takes away from your confidence, takes away from your preparation. […] And then also there’s a bit of fear that the same thing could happen to us. […] Those athletes were on the flight the day before us, so there’s a little bit of trepidation that the same thing could happen to people on our flight as well.”

Richard Kilty, a British sprinter, added everyone inside the Olympic Village is slightly anxious they may have been in close COVID contact with someone: “There is always the worry that you could randomly be pinged for whatever reason, or came into contact with someone, and you don’t get a chance to train or compete. […] If someone was to come and miss out on their individual event this close to the Games it’d be heartbreaking for anybody. I wouldn’t wish it on anyone.”

It remains to be seen how the exclusions of potentially infected players will affect sports betting odds during the Games, but COVID-19 may certainly introduce another unwanted element to the betting stakes.