Tokyo Olympics: Jade Jones 'petrified' of positive coronavirus test derailing Games hopes

By Sports Desk July 17, 2021

Jade Jones is in the hunt for an historic third successive gold medal in taekwondo at the Tokyo Olympics, and she is doing all she can to ensure coronavirus does not derail her hopes.

The Tokyo Games are set to start next week, though no fans will be allowed to attend as Japan deals with another spike in COVID-19 cases.

Jones tested positive for the illness earlier this year, and the 28-year-old has since had both doses of a vaccine, though that does not mean she cannot still contract the virus.

She won gold at London 2012 and Rio 2016, with no taekwondo athlete having ever won three straight gold medals in the discipline. Jones is also hoping to become the first British female Olympian to claim the top prize at three consecutive Games.

However, her participation would be ended if she tests positive for coronavirus, and Jones explained the lengths which she and her team are going to in order to avoid such a situation.

"The hardest bit is being petrified you're going to test positive," Jones, who is based at the Keio University in Minato City, told the Evening Standard. "I've had the vaccines and I've had COVID so it's highly unlikely.

"But I still don't want to get a positive test because that means game over, you're out. To have your Olympic dreams pending on that is scary. I constantly wear the mask.

 

"My hands are raw from the amount of hand gel I've been putting on, we walk in single file to training, literally a little traffic system so no-one comes near us and we stay in that same bubble.

"To be fair, I'm quite anti-social anyway, so it works well for me. I've got an excuse now. Got to keep my distance. Where we have our meal there's a sticker on the table saying 'keep conversation to a minimum'."

Indeed, on Saturday, Jones' fears might only have been heightened by a positive COVID-19 case being discovered in the athletes' village.

Jones, though, is still enjoying the atmosphere in Tokyo, despite the strict restrictions.

"I thought because of COVID it's not going to be the same, it's going to be rubbish, it's not going to compare to London and Rio," Jones said.

"I got here and it seems the same. Obviously, you have to wear the mask but I still feel like that little kid walking around saying 'this is amazing'. Just wearing the kit, I just feel proud to be here again."

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