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Virus scare for Aussie Olympians after US pole vaulter tests positive

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The Australian Olympic track and field team has been put into isolation in Tokyo after two-time pole vault champion Sam Kendricks from the United States tested positive to COVID-19.

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Kendricks’ father posted on social media that his son had no symptoms but was informed while in Tokyo that he had tested positive and was out of the competition.

The US Olympic and Paralympic Committee confirmed the news.

“In alignment with local rules and protocols, he has been transferred to a hotel to be placed in isolation,” the US Olympic Committee said.

“Sam is an incredible and accomplished member of Team USA and his presence will be missed.”

Members of the Australian team – including reigning Commonwealth pole vault champion Kurtis Marschall – are isolating in their rooms in the village as a precautionary measure.

The Australian Olympic Committee said in a statement that the athletics team were “undergoing testing procedures in line with Australian Olympic Team protocols”.

The track and field program gets underway in Tokyo on Friday morning, with the opening round of the men’s pole vault scheduled for Saturday.

Kendricks, 28, won the bronze medal at the 2016 Olympics and took gold at the last two world championships.

His battle with world record holder Mondo Duplantis of Sweden was expected to have been one of the highlights of the track and field program.

Olympics organisers earlier on Thursday announced 24 new coronavirus cases related to the Tokyo Games in their daily report.

It is the highest daily increase of cases linked to the Games since organisers began reporting cases on July 1.

A total of 20 athletes have been infected so far.

The latest numbers bring the total number of positive tests linked to the Olympics to 193.

Japan’s capital is under a state of emergency for the duration of the Games, and Olympic competition takes place behind closed doors at all local venues.

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