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Tokyo Olympics: Guinea withdraw on eve of Games over Covid fears

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The government of Guinea has decided not to send any athletes to the Tokyo Olympics over Covid-19 fears, two days before the Games’ official start.

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The Guinean delegation, which had yet to travel, was to feature five competitors – one apiece in athletics, judo and wrestling while two were set for the athletics programme.

“Due to the rise in cases of Covid-19 variants, the government, out of concern for the health of the Guinean athletes, has regretfully decided to cancel their participation,” wrote Minister of Sport Sanoussy Bantama Sow in a short statement.

This is the first case of an entire team being withdrawn from the delayed Games in Tokyo.

Elsewhere, there was better news for six players from Kenya women’s rugby sevens team who are expected to come out of a 14-day Covid quarantine in time for their first match against New Zealand on 29 July.

“Until yesterday, they were confined in a government facility where they weren’t able to train,” Kenya’s Chef de mission Waithaka Kioni told BBC Sport Africa on Thursday. “But they have now come to the village. Each has a room individually.”

“The girls have been returning negative Covid tests and that is encouraging that no player tested positive. But because one passenger in their flight tested positive and they were judged as close contacts, they had to quarantine for 14 days.”

Team Kenya arrived in Japan early to acclimatise in the city of Kurume prior to moving into the athletes’ village earlier this week.

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