Olympics-Rowing-Dutch coach tests positive for COVID-19

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Tokyo 2020 Olympics - Rowing Training Sessions
Tokyo 2020 Olympics – Rowing Training Sessions – Sea Forest Waterway, Tokyo, Japan – July 18, 2021 General view of an oar in the Netherlands flag colours during a training session REUTERS/Thomas Peter

July 25, 2021

TOKYO (Reuters) – Dutch rowing coach Josy Verdonkschot has tested positive for COVID-19, the Netherlands Olympic Committee (NOCNSF) said on Sunday, and has gone into a 10-day quarantine.

The news comes after 21-year-old Dutch single sculls competitor Finn Florijn tested positive on Friday. Another staff member on the Dutch rowing team, as well as Dutch taekwondo competitor Reshmie Oogink and skateboarder Candy Jacobs, tested positive last week, as well.

Verdonkschot serves as head coach for “several” of the women’s boats competing at the Tokyo Games but was not a part of the travel party with the four members of Team Netherlands that tested positive, TeamNL said.

“My personal feelings play no role,” Verdonkschot said in a written statement. “Our programme is well put together, we know from each other what we can and should do. The missing of the coach has no influence anymore. My trust in my staff and my athletes is endless. They will finish this job.”

TeamNL said Verdonkschot was informed of his morning test results Saturday evening and was tracking any close contacts within the guidelines of Tokyo 2020.

Close contacts would be allowed to continue competing “under special conditions,” including taking separate transport and eating and sleeping in separate rooms.

The Dutch had dominated across the board in early competition at the Sea Forest Waterway and four boats were set to compete on Sunday. The Netherlands picked up three rowing medals at the 2016 Rio Games.

(Reporting by Amy Tennery in Tokyo; Editing by Stephen Coates)