Champion U.S. Pole Vaulter Sam Kendricks Out of Tokyo Olympics After Positive COVID-19 Test, Australian Athletics Team Isolating

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Reigning world pole vault champion and 2016 Rio Olympics bronze medalist Sam Kendricks, from Team USA, is out of the Tokyo Olympics after testing positive for COVID-19 on Thursday.

Argentine pole vaulter German Chiaraviglio has also tested positive and is ruled out.

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The International Olympics Committee said that both athletes are being treated in hospital but are not in intensive care.

“The health and safety of our athletes, coaches and staff is our top priority. We are saddened to confirm that Sam Kendricks tested positive for COVID-19 and will not compete in the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020,” tweeted the United States Olympic and Paralympic Committee (USOPC) on Thursday.

“In alignment with local rules and protocols, he has been transferred to a hotel to be placed in isolation and is being supported by the USATF [USA Track and Field] and USOPC staff.”

“Sam is an incredible and accomplished member of Team USA and his presence will be missed. Out of respect for his privacy, we cannot provide more information at this time.”

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In an Instagram post Kendricks’ father and coach Scott Hendricks wrote: “Bad news for our son. Sam is disqualified from Olympic competition because the Japanese officials say he is positive for Cov-19. Sam isn’t sick and we aren’t worried about him. The testing system is very rigid over there. The Japanese officials won’t allow for another PCR test for 6 days so the competition will be over. Sam is in the quarantine hotel where he hopes to at least work out in his room because the season isn’t nearly over! Life is full of tests and we will pass this one. God is so good and we always trust him. Love you Sam. See you soon.”

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Meanwhile, all 63 of Australia’s athletics team are self-isolating, after possible exposure to Kendricks. Pole vaulter Kurtis Marschall is understood to be the only Australian athlete to have had close contract with Kendricks.

Kendricks was tipped to go for gold against Sweden’s Mondo Dulantis, the current pole vault world record holder, on Aug. 3.

Kendricks is the third sportsperson from Team USA to test positive for COVID-19 and be ruled out of the Tolyo Olympics, following beach volleyball player Taylor Crabb and gymnast Kara Eaker. Tennis player Coco Gauff had withdrawn prior to the Olympics after testing positive.

A total of 193 people, including 20 athletes, have tested positive at the Tokyo Olympics so far.

Tokyo reported 3,177 new COVID cases on Wednesday, an all time high for the city.

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