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Defending Olympic 100m freestyle champion Kyle Chalmers has admitted the prospect of being in Japan is a “little bit scary”, with the Australian anticipating Covid-19 to impression the Tokyo Video games.
The 22-year-old, one in all Australia’s high swimming gold medal prospects, is ramping up preparations as he readies for an anticipated Olympic showdown with American Caeleb Dressel.
Chalmers outpaced Dressel to win gold on the Rio Olympics in 2016 however was pipped to the 2019 world title by the American in a jaw-dropping 46.96 seconds.
With Tokyo at the moment beneath emergency measures, much less strict than blanket lockdowns, to sort out a fourth wave of coronavirus instances, he admitted he was nervous.
“Clearly, it’s a little bit scary,” Chalmers informed his hometown newspaper, the Adelaide Advertiser, late Friday forward of subsequent weekend’s Australian Olympic trials.
“My largest concern is getting by the heats and semi-finals after which testing optimistic for Covid and also you’re out of the ultimate and sitting in your bed room for 14 days.”
Most, if not all, Australian athletes can be vaccinated earlier than heading to Tokyo. Nonetheless, it was not instantly clear if Chalmers had already acquired a jab and even meant to be inoculated.
Whereas Japan has seen a smaller Covid-19 outbreak than many nations, with simply over 13,000 deaths, organisers face persistent home opposition to the Olympics amid fears of a brand new surge with 1000’s of athletes and employees getting into the nation.
Chalmers mentioned he anticipated virus instances to hit the Video games.
“I hold observe of Tokyo (Covid case) numbers and so they’re beginning to come down, which is nice, however I feel it is in all probability inevitable that Covid can be in and across the (athletes’) village and have an effect on the Video games in some capability,” he mentioned.
Regardless of his issues, Chalmers is eager to defend his title.
“I am not right here coaching 40 hours every week to be second finest on the earth. I am coaching to be primary, so I am undoubtedly extremely motivated to remain there,” he mentioned.
© 2021 AFP