World pole vault champion Sam Kendricks has become the biggest track and field Covid withdrawal from the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.
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He reportedly has no symptoms despite testing positive. US reserve Matt Ludwig is on his way to Japan to try to make it in time for the qualifying on Saturday.
Australians Kurtis Marschall and Nina Kennedy were deemed close contacts of Kendricks but should be able to compete after producing negative tests, theage.com.au reports.
Kendricks’ close rival Renaud Lavillenie lamented the absence of the American from the pole vault line-up.
He said: “We can actually say to ourselves that it is a potential place on the podium which is freeing itself up, but that is not how we want it to happen, it is total misery.
“I immediately texted him to tell him that I; it sorry and that he needed to be strong under these circumstances,” L’Equipe quoted Lavillenie.
Also, World record holder Mondo Duplantis is shocked, according to media reports.
“One hour ago I was preparing for a big fight with Sam. He is one of my main rivals and somebody who would really push me in the finals,” said Duplantis.