U.S. Pole Vaulter Infected as Japan Virus Surge Worsens

U.S. pole vaulter Sam Kendricks, a world champion tipped for a medal at the Tokyo Olympics, has tested positive for coronavirus and is out of the games as the host nation struggles with its worst virus surge yet.

Kendricks is not among the three athletes whose infections were announced by organizers earlier Thursday, a U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Committee spokesman said. His case will be reflected in the daily count on Friday.

U.S. Pole Vaulter Infected as Japan Virus Surge Worsens

The latest cases among athletes come as Tokyo and its surrounding areas experience a worsening virus wave. The capital found 3,865 new cases Thursday, the third record in as many days, while the national daily infection rate is expected to top 10,000 for the first time, broadcaster NTV said.

U.S. Pole Vaulter Infected as Japan Virus Surge Worsens

With no plans to suspend the games, the government is considering expanding the state of emergency in Tokyo to cover three nearby prefectures, NTV said, citing an unidentified ruling party official. The government is also considering whether to extend the emergency in Tokyo and the southern island of Okinawa beyond its current scheduled end of Aug. 22, the broadcaster said.

Organizers announced 24 new cases associated with the games Thursday -- eight higher than the previous day — bringing to 193 the total number of infections as reported by the organizing committee. The three other athletes who tested positive were staying in the Olympic Village, but no further details were given about them. So far, the majority of games-related infections have been among residents of Japan.

Kendricks’s infection also forced Australia’s 63-strong track and field team to go into isolation briefly, after an athlete was confirmed as a close contact of the 2016 bronze medalist. The whole team has now been cleared to compete after testing negative, the Sydney Morning Herald reported.

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