Extra precautions for EJ Obiena after 2 rivals test positive for COVID-19
TOKYO—Filipino pole vaulter EJ Obiena and his team are taking no chances anymore.
Terry Capistrano, the Philippine Athletics Track and Field Association (Patafa) secretary general who has been designated team leader of the athletics team in the Tokyo Olympics here has put Obiena and the rest of the squad under heightened precautions after two pole vaulters, including a gold medal prospect Sam Kendricks of the United States tested positive for COVID-19 on Thursday.
“We’re taking a lot of extra precautions now,” Capistrano said. “We’re bringing our own alcohol to Edogawa Stadium, where EJ practices, and we are the ones who wipe down whatever surfaces he will be in contact with. We can never be too careful anymore.”
Capistrano said he hired a van for the team and won’t let Obiena ride the athletes’ bus or the taxis designated as official transport vehicles of the Games.
As it turned out, the team has made what now seems like a fortuitous decision to remain in Conrad Hotel for the rest of the Games. Obiena and the rest of the track team, which includes sprinter Kristina Knott, were supposed to transfer to the Athletes’ Village a while back.
“We’re lucky we decided to stay here,” Capistrano said.
The latest development that has left some of the top pole vaulters “spooked.” Apart from Kendricks, the world No. 2, German Chiaraviglio of Argentina has also been removed from the start list.
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.