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 26, 2021
By Amy Tennery
TOKYO (Reuters) – The Dutch rowing team has agreed to separate itself from other competitors after one of its athletes, a coach and a staff member all tested positive for COVID-19, the team’s performance director told Reuters on Monday.
TeamNL rowing coach Josy Verdonkschot tested positive for COVID-19 and went into a 10-day quarantine, the Netherlands Olympic Committee (NOCNSF) said on Sunday, after 21-year-old single sculls competitor Finn Florijn also turned up a positive test on Friday.
A staff member on the Dutch rowing team came back with a positive test last week as well.
Dutch media reported on Sunday that World Rowing and Games organisers had accepted requests from some delegations to isolate the Dutch rowing team from others as much as possible.
The Netherlands’ high performance director of rowing, Hessel Evertse, told Reuters there were no “official close contacts” identified, but that the team agreed to the isolation measures nonetheless.
“In order to get trust and confidence with (other) countries and (especially) the volunteers. So we are happy to cooperate,” Evertse said via email.
There were no races at the Sea Forest Waterway on Monday, after the World Rowing Executive Committee last week moved up the events to Sunday, citing a forecast for “adverse weather.”
On Sunday, organisers also suspended Tuesday’s programme due to weather, pushing the races to later in the week.
“We focus on what we do have,” Evertse said, “a good bed, a good meal, a good practice in order to get what we are (here) for: our best race.”
Olympic rowing is set to continue on Wednesday.
(Reporting by Amy Tennery in Tokyo, additional reporting by Daniel Leussink; Editing by Michael Perry)