U.S. pole vaulter Sam Kendricks out of Olympics after positive COVID-19 test

Team USA pole vaulter Sam Kendricks is in isolation in his hotel in Tokyo after he tested positive for COVID-19. File Photo by Richard Ellis/UPI
Team USA pole vaulter Sam Kendricks is in isolation in his hotel in Tokyo after he tested positive for COVID-19. File Photo by Richard Ellis/UPI | License Photo

July 29 (UPI) -- American pole vaulter Sam Kendricks is out of the Summer Olympics in Tokyo after he tested positive for COVID-19, USA Track & Field announced Thursday.

Kendricks had been set to compete beginning this weekend, but now must withdraw.


"He and his close contacts were immediately notified and protocols were activated to isolate the athlete," USATF said in a statement.

"We are following the United States Olympic and Paralympic Committee and Tokyo Organizing Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games guidance on next steps to ensure the safety of the remainder of our delegation, and to offer support to Sam."

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Kendricks posted a video update on Instagram Thursday and said he's experienced no symptoms.

"I was all set to compete Saturday in my second Olympic Games," Kendricks said. "Sadly, today I was removed from the competition due to a positive coronavirus test. Despite having passed two at home and one in the airport on the way to Tokyo, I'm out.

"The same self test I took when I got to isolation, I was a negative on as well. But for the sake of protocols, the Japanese say I'm out. I have no recourse but to sit in isolation and watch the Olympics."

Kendricks, 28, said he still plans to support Team USA and to compete in "every other event" after the Summer Games.

The first lieutenant in the U.S. Army Reserve won a bronze medal at the 2016 Summer Games in Rio de Janeiro.

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Matt Ludwig, an alternate, is expected to replace Kendricks on the U.S. men's pole vaulting team.

Argentinian pole vaulter German Chiaraviglio also announced Thursday that he's tested positive and will miss the Summer Games. He is in isolation at his hotel in Tokyo.

Chiaraviglio also said he tested positive for COVID-19 on the first day of the Olympics and went into isolation. He then tested negative for three consecutive days before the new positive result.

"It is very hard to process something like that, it will surely take me a long time," Chiaraviglio wrote on Instagram. "We knew this Olympic game was different and with different rules, and here I am, it's my turn."

Qualifications for pole vaulting start Saturday morning (8:40 p.m. EDT Friday). The men's pole vault final is Tuesday.

Tokyo organizers announced 24 new positive cases Thursday from the latest round of testing for people linked to the Games, including three athletes. The new positives are the most for a single day since organizers began reporting results July 1.


A total of 193 people, including 20 athletes, have tested positive so far.

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France goalkeeper Paul Bernardoni can't stop a goal from Mexico forward Uriel Antuna (not seen) in a Men's Group A soccer match during the Tokyo Summer Olympic Games on July 22. Photo by Bob Strong/UPI | License Photo

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