Olympics-Japanese gymnast Uchimura tests positive for COVID-19 ahead of key meet

Watanabe added that all the other members of the Japanese team have so far tested negative but would be tested again on Friday, along with other staff members, adding that it was unknown if Uchimura had become infected in the center or prior to entering.

He also said that the event, the Friendship and Solidarity Competition at the Yoyogi National Gymnasium, would go ahead even if the Japanese team had to withdraw and that all the international athletes had so far tested negative.

“At this point it’s just Uchimura. If we find out it’s spread through the rest of the team, at that point they might pull out,” he said.

“All the other teams have been isolated in their countries – don’t put these two issues together,” he added, in explaining how the meet might still go ahead.

The other athletes are set to arrive on Nov. 4 and 5 under strict rules including moving only between practices, the event venue and their hotel, which they are forbidden to leave otherwise.

In an interview with Reuters earlier this week, Watanabe said he hoped this meet would open the door towards holding a successful Olympics next year.

Japan has not suffered the same sort of surge in COVID-19 cases being marked in Europe and the United States, with only 221 new cases reported in Tokyo on Thursday. (Reporting by Elaine Lies and Jack Tarrant; Editing by Andrew Heavens and Christian Radnedge)

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