COVID Cancels 1st Olympic Beach Volleyball Match

The match between the Czech Republic and the host country Japan has been canceled as Czech athlete Markéta Slukova tested positive earlier this week.

Tokyo, Japan — The Olympic beach volleyball tournament began at the beginning of the typical coronavirus era.

The first scheduled match of the event at the Tokyo Games, where the pandemic was delayed, was canceled Saturday morning because a Czech player tested positive for COVID-19. It knocked out Marketa Surkova and his partner Barbora Hermannnova, who tested positive earlier this week, from the tournament.

The venue at Shiokaze Park, where the match was scheduled to begin on Saturday at 9am, was already empty due to fan bans, but only the ridiculously loud cicadas of nearby trees.

An hour later, when gold medalist Allison came to court, he was waiting to cheer him on, pointing at an empty stand as if the fans were there.

“The emotions were different,” said a 6-foot-8 Brazilian who won the men’s gold medal in Rio de Janeiro. “The situation is very different in the world. (I) am very happy to finally be here.”

Related: Game Rules: Volleyball and Beach Volleyball

In sports where samba is played at Copacabana Beach in Rio and the Benny Hill-themed dance team in London thrives in a beach party atmosphere, the venue overlooking Tokyo Bay struggled to match the mood of its predecessor.

A disc jockey sent out rock music from the speakers, calling for play-by-play. However, in most sessions, the only applause in the temporary arena, which was hot on the sand at 90 degrees Fahrenheit (32 degrees Celsius), was a half-dozen ball attendant with the team clapping their hands in plastic gloves. It was from. It was announced.

“It was very different,” said Brazilian Agatha, who won a silver medal in front of a local crowd in 2016 and hit Argentina directly on Saturday to host the Tokyo Olympics.

“In Brazil, we had the greatest support. Many people supported us and we were silent here,” she said with a flat line by hand. “We need to put our emotions into the game because we can’t receive emotions from them. For me, playing with emotions is so important that I need to bring it from the inside out. did.”

Agatha and her new partner, Duda, defeated the Argentine pair Anagarai and Fernanda Pereyra on Saturday, winning 21-19, 21-10. In other matches of the opening session, Alison and his new partner Alvarofilho defeated Argentina 21-16, 21-17, while top-seeded Canadians Sarapaban and Melissa Humana Paredes beat Dutch Kachastam and Lysus Horn 21. Defeated the duo. -16, 21-14.

“I think I can agree that something is missing,” said Pavan, who finished fifth in 2016. It also energizes itself. “

As she left the sand, Humana Paredes waved to a handful of Canadian support staff sitting in nearly 12,000 vacant seats.

“The world changes just by looking at a few friendly faces,” she said.

In the canceled match, he was 29th on the qualifying points list for the 24-team tournament, but the Japanese team of Ai Murakami and Miki Ishii, who received the entry reserved for the host, won by default. Officially, the Czechs are marked “not started” and the three round-robin opponents are awarded victory.

Surkova is one of at least three members of the Czech team and has been positive since arriving in Japan, including male beach volleyball player Ondjay Persic. The team said it was investigating whether the outbreak of COVID-19 was related to charter flights to Tokyo.

In addition to the Japanese, 2016 gold medalist Laura Ludwig of Germany and her new partner Margarete Kozucci have already won with the withdrawal of the Czech team, as well as the pair of Swiss Tanya Degurechaff and Ninabechart. Contains.

COVID Cancels 1st Olympic Beach Volleyball Match

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