Tokyo Olympics: South Africa footballers are first athletes to test positive for Covid-19 in Olympic Village

A Games official was the first individual based in the Village to test positive on Saturday

Mark Staniforth
Sunday 18 July 2021 11:56
<p>Thabiso Monyane and Kamohelo Mahlatsi, as well as Video Analyst Mario Masha, tested positive</p>

Thabiso Monyane and Kamohelo Mahlatsi, as well as Video Analyst Mario Masha, tested positive

Two South African footballers have become the first athletes to test positive for Covid-19 in the Olympic Village, the International Olympic Committee has confirmed.

Thabiso Monyane and Kamohelo Mahlatsi tested positive, the South African Football Association said, as did the team’s Video Analyst Mario Masha. They are among 10 new Games-related cases announced on Sunday.

“We have three positive cases of COVID-19 in the camp here, two players and an official,” team manager Mxolisi Sibam said in a media release.

“There is daily screening [...] Masha and Monyane reported high temperatures and positive saliva tests, and were then taken to do the nasal test [...] and they unfortunately tested positive for COVID-19. Mahlatsi is the latest player to go through the same process.

“This unfortunate situation has made us miss our first intensive training session last night.”

South Africa are set to play hosts Japan on Thursday.

A Games official was the first individual based in the Village to test positive on Saturday, on the same day IOC president Thomas Bach insisted the Games will be “safe and secure”.

Also among the 10 new positive cases connected to the Games is a third athlete who tested positive on arrival in Japan The other positive cases were five ‘Games-related personnel’, one member of the media, and a contractor.

IOC president Thomas Bach insisted on Thursday that the risk of the Japanese public being infected with the virus by a Games participant is “zero”.

However there is rising nervousness in Tokyo after the city recorded over 1,000 new cases for the fourth straight day, with the number of Games-related cases since 1 July having now risen to 55.

Last week, the South African rugby sevens team were forced to quarantine for four days due to being considered close contacts of a passenger who tested positive on their flight to Tokyo.

Meanwhile the IOC Refugee Team has delayed its arrival in the Japanese capital from its training camp in Qatar after a member of its delegation tested positive.

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