Local Athletics

Published on July 29th, 2021 | by TLV News


Oxford, Mississippi Pole Vault Champion Sam Kendricks Out of Tokyo Olympics After Positive COVID-19 Test

One of the United States‘ best hopes for track and field gold was forced out of the Olympics on Thursday as COVID-19 spread chaos through the athletes’ ranks just as events were about to get underway.

Word that Sam Kendricks, the two-time reigning world pole vault champion from Oxford, Mississippi, had tested positive briefly sent the Australian team into isolation — an unwelcome reminder of the virus’s threat and the upheaval it can bring that continues to loom over the Games on the eve of the start of track and field.

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Approximately 2,000 athletes are listed in the track lineup as the largest sporting event on the sprawling Olympic program begins fully Friday.

It also came as Tokyo Metropolitan Government officials reported a record 3,865 new confirmed COVID-19 cases, shattering the previous records of 3,177 set Wednesday and 2,848 Tuesday.

A spokesman for the International Olympic Committee tried to reassure a nervous Japanese public that the pandemic was not spreading out of the Olympic Village.

“As far as I’m aware, there’s not a single case of infection spreading to the Tokyo population from the athletes or Olympic movement,” IOC spokesman Mark Adams said.

But an additional 24 people accredited for the Tokyo Games tested positive for COVID-19 on Thursday, bringing the total number of accreditation holders infected to 193, Olympic organizers said.

The first word that Kendricks had tested positive was posted on Instagram by the 2016 Olympic bronze medalist’s father and co-coach, Scott Kendricks.

“Today in Tokyo, officials informed Sam that his daily test for Cov 19 was positive, So he is out of the competition. He feels fine and has no symptoms. Love you son. See you soon. #rancho_olympia #polevaulting”

Scott Kendricks’ post was removed not long after being shared.

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The Local Voice is a bimonthly entertainment guide and newspaper based in Oxford, Mississippi, covering and distributed in North Central Mississippi, including Oxford, Ole Miss, Taylor, Abbeville, Water Valley, Lafayette County, Yalobusha County, and parts of Panola County, Marshall County, and Tupelo . The Local Voice is distributed free to over 255 locations in North Mississippi and also available as a full color PDF download worldwide on the internet.

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