Australian athletes in lockdown at Tokyo Olympics after close contact with US pole vaulter who tested positive for COVID-19

Just one day before the athletics competition begins at the Tokyo Summer Games, the Australian Olympic Committee has forced members of the athletics team to isolate in the village. 

A member of the team, pole vaulter Kurtis Marschall, came in contact with a positive case. 

Channel 7’s Chris Reason said that after coming into contact with an American pole vaulter, the decision was made to isolate the entire athletics squad.

“We believe this is connected to an outbreak we believe is connected to the U.S. team,” Reason said. “We know that pole vault champion Sam Kendricks, a U.S. star and a real medal chance at these Games, has tested positive.

“It’s believed he was potentially training with the Aussie star Kurtis Marschall, our pole vault champion.

“Kurtis was told to go straight back. Kurtis was working with the rest of the team so the AOC have decided to take the entire track and field team and isolate them until further notice.”

The men’s pole vault begins Saturday. 

A statement from the AOC confirmed that the members of the team will undergo PCR tests which should return results with a couple of hours. 

“Members of Australia’s track and field team at the Tokyo Olympic Games are isolating in their rooms as a precautionary measure following news of a COVID positive finding with a member of the U.S. track and field team,” the statement read.

“Members of the Australian track and field team are now undergoing testing procedures in line with Australian Olympic Team protocols.”

The entire Australian track and field team is 62 athletes, after race-walker Dane Bird-Smith withdrew from the Games just before flying to Tokyo. It is not yet confirmed how many of the team are in isolation.

A statement from Team USA confirmed that Kendricks has tested positive to COVID-19. 

The Australian track and field team has already been through a COVID-19 scare before leaving for Tokyo. 

A staff member had an inconclusive test that later came back negative in Cairns at the group’s training camp.

Leave a Comment