With positive coronavirus cases beginning to be recorded in the Olympic Village, the list of athletes forced to withdraw from Tokyo 2020 is only likely to lengthen.
Here, the PA news agency keeps track on the star names whose dreams of competing in the Japanese capital have already been curtailed by the virus.
Unlike many of her contemporaries, the 17-year-old tennis star seemed genuinely disappointed to have to withdraw from the Games at seven days’ notice due to a positive test. Gauff wrote on Twitter: “I am so disappointed to share the news that I have tested positive for covid and won’t be able to play in the Olympic Games in Tokyo. It has always been a dream of mine to represent the USA at the Olympics, and I hope there will be many more chances for me to make this come true in the future.”
Konta’s nightmare summer continued when she revealed she had developed symptoms and contracted the virus. The British number one had previously been forced to withdraw from Wimbledon and isolate due to one of her team testing positive. Konta described it as a “heartbreaking reality”, adding: “Representing Team GB at the Olympic Games in Rio in 2016 is one of my most treasured memories from my career.”
Alex De Minaur
The Australian number one was forced to withdraw after returning a positive sample from one of the two mandatory pre-departure tests he undertook in his home country. He became the first member of the Australian Olympic team to test positive. According to Australia’s Chef de Mission Ian Chesterman, De Minaur, who was to have competed in singles and doubles, was left “shattered” by the news.
Having initially expressed his reluctance to go to Tokyo, British number one Evans changed his mind – only to then be struck down by the virus. Announcing his withdrawal last week, Evans wrote on social media: “Unfortunately I recently tested positive for Covid-19. As a result, I will not be able to prepare and get myself ready for the Olympic Games in Tokyo. I am hugely disappointed and currently self isolating according to the guidelines as set out by the government.”
The 23-year-old shooter was one of Team GB’s biggest medal hopes but was forced to pull out of the skeet after a positive test 48 hours before the Games officially started. “There are no words to describe how I’m feeling right now,” Hill said. “After five years of training and preparation, I’m absolutely devastated to say that last night I received a positive Covid-19 test, meaning I’ve had to withdraw from Team GB’s shooting team.”
The world number six was a late withdrawal but had not travelled to Japan before his positive test and was replaced in the USA team by Patrick Reed. “I am deeply disappointed not to be able to compete in the Olympics for Team USA,” said DeChambeau. “Representing my country means the world to me and it is was a tremendous honour to make this team. I wish Team USA the best of luck next week in Tokyo.”
World number one Rahm tested positive for the second time in as many months. Yet there is no rapid return for the Spaniard this time. Rahm won the US Open last month just 15 days after he tested positive for COVID-19 initially. Adri Arnaus is Spain’s only representative in the men’s golf competition after the Spanish Olympic Committee said they could not get a replacement for Rahm due to the lack of time.