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    Tokyo Olympics: 63 Australian Athletics in Isolation Amid COVID Case from US Pole Vaulter

    American pole vaulter and two times world champion Sam Kendricks will miss the Tokyo 2020 Olympics after testing positive for COVID-19, the US Olympic and Paralympic Committee confirmed in a statement on Thursday.

    "The health and safety of our athletes, coaches and staff is our top priority. We are saddened to confirm that Sam Kendricks tested positive for COVID-19 and will not compete in the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020."

    "In alignment with local rules and protocols, he has been transferred to a hotel to be placed in isolation and is being supported by the USATF and USOPC staff," the committee wrote on Twitter.

    Kendricks becomes the latest Team USA athlete to be ruled out of the Games due to COVID-19. Beach volleyball player Taylor Crabb and Kara Eaker -- an alternate on the US women's gymnastics team -- were also tested positive.

    "Sam is an incredible and accomplished member of Team USA and his presence will be missed. Out of respect for his privacy, we cannot provide more information at this time," USOPC added.

    Kendricks, 28, won bronze in the pole vault at the 2016 Olympics in Rio and was aiming for another at Tokyo 2020.

    Australia track and field athletes isolating in COVID-19 scare

    Multiple members of Australia's Olympic track and field team were placed in isolation on Thursday after a positive coronavirus case involving US pole vault world champion Sam Kendricks, Athletics Australia said.

    "Members of Australia's track and field team at the Tokyo Olympic Games are isolating in their rooms as a precautionary measure following news of a Covid-positive finding with a member of the US track and field team," Athletics Australia said.

    "Members of the Australian track and field team are now undergoing testing procedures in line with Australian Olympic team protocols."

    The development came shortly after US Olympic chiefs said Kendricks was out of the Olympics after testing positive for Covid-19.

    The Athletics Australia statement did not say how many Australian athletes were isolating.

    The Sydney Morning Herald reported on its website that the entire 63-strong Australian track and field team had been told to isolate.

    The newspaper reported that Australian pole vaulter Kurtis Marschall had been confirmed as a close contact of Kendricks, and that a number of other athletes may have interacted with the American.

    The Covid-19 scare comes just a day before track and field competition at the Olympics was due to get under way.

    The Tokyo Olympic organising committee on Thursday reported 24 more COVID-19 cases associated with the games, the highest daily count since the committee began compiling infections data from the start of this month.

    The 24 cases, bringing the cumulative total to 193, included three athletes from overseas in Tokyo for the Olympics, which opened on Friday following an unprecedented one-year postponement due to the pandemic.

    The committee said the three were all staying in the athletes' village. The daily figures were announced by the committee a day after COVID-19 infection numbers for both Japan and Tokyo hit all-time highs of 9,583 and 3,177, respectively.

    The numbers issued by the Olympic organising body do not include those announced by central and local governments. The rest of the 24 cases are 15 contractors and six games-linked officials. Of the 24, 17 were residents of Japan, it said, adding 39,209 people from overseas had entered Japan for the games as of Tuesday.

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