Tokyo Olympics organising committee chief Toshiro Muto has not ruled out cancelling the Games at the last minute should there be a surge in coronavirus cases.

Officials announced a further nine positive cases among those linked to the Games on Tuesday, taking the overall number of people infected since the start of July to 71.

That total includes South Africa's men's footballers Thabiso Monyane and Kamohelo Mahlatsi testing positive while inside the athletes' village over the weekend.

A number of other athletes have been forced to isolate after coming into close contact with an individual that has contracted the disease.

With just three days to go until the global sporting event's opening ceremony, and with the first events starting as soon as Wednesday, director general Muto will continue monitoring infection levels in the hope they do not spiral out of control.

"We can't predict what will happen with the number of coronavirus cases. So we will continue discussions if there is a spike in cases," he said at a news conference.

"We have agreed that based on the coronavirus situation, we will convene five-party talks again.

"At this point, the coronavirus cases may rise or fall, so we will think about what we should do when the situation arises."

Around 11,000 athletes from 205 national Olympic committees are expected to stay at the Olympic Village over the next three weeks.

The 2020 Games, delayed by a year due to the global health pandemic, will be held mostly without spectators due to a state of emergency being declared in Tokyo.

The number of new coronavirus cases in the Japanese capital topped 1,000 for five days running before dropping to 727 on Monday.

Amid concerns from the wider population over the Games going ahead, Japan's chef de mission Tsuyoshi Fukui insisted a number of safety measures are in place to stop the virus spreading.

"Under these circumstances, we must admit that COVID-19 is not subsiding," Fukui said on Tuesday. "We have to pay tribute to many people that enabled us to start the Games.

"We will give our utmost efforts so that the athletes can do their best. We will, as Team Japan, never forget the sense of appreciation. As of Monday night, the Japanese athletes staying at the Athletes' Village is 236.

"We have seen more and more athletes from other nations enter the Village, but there are rigorous COVID-19 countermeasures enforced and so far, there has been no major issues.

"Including myself, athletes and other members are taking antigen tests every day, as well as using an app to monitor our health situations.

"Every time we enter the Athletes' Village, our temperatures are checked, and we disinfect our hands.

"In the dining hall, each seat is separated by acrylic boards. Also, everyone is also wearing face masks – so we have a strong sense that rigorous measures against the spread of COVID-19 are in place by the organising committee."

He added: "There are various opinions regarding the Games and we are aware of that. We would like to earnestly listen to and take these opinions into account, but at the same time the mission of the Japanese delegations is to establish an environment where an athlete could focus on sports.

"So through sports we want to deliver hope and bravery and to make sure that each athlete can do their best in their performance."

Olympics chief Thomas Bach revealed he masked his concerns about Tokyo 2020 going ahead because of fears the Games might "fall to pieces".

Bach is president of the International Olympic Committee, which he said "had to show a way out of this crisis" in order for the global event to go ahead amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Speaking on Tuesday in Tokyo, Bach said the IOC had experienced daily concerns about the Olympics being able to proceed but had to present a positive message to stakeholders including sporting federations, sponsors, the Japanese government and broadcasters.

Had the IOC been open about worries for the Games, which were delayed by a year due to the global health crisis, Bach said it could have triggered a chain of events that would have seen the Olympics collapse.

Instead, the Games get under way this week, with the opening ceremony due to take place on Friday.

Bach said: "Over the past 15 months, we had to take daily decisions on very uncertain grounds. We had doubts every day. We deliberated and we discussed. There were sleepless nights. Like everyone else in the world, we did not know, I did not know, what the future would hold."

Bach appeared to scoff at any suggestion of the IOC deciding to "blindly force ahead at any price" and spoke of the "extreme stress test of the coronavirus crisis".

"Imagine for a moment what it would have meant if the leader of the Olympic movement, the IOC, would have added to the already many doubts surrounding the Olympic Games, if we would have poured fuel onto this fire," Bach said.

"How could we have convinced the athletes to continue to prepare for the Olympic Games by adding to their uncertainty?

"How could we have convinced all the other stakeholders to remain committed to the Olympic Games if we would have even deepened their already serious doubts.

"Our doubts could have become a self-fulfilling prophecy. The Olympic Games could have fallen to pieces. This is why, we had to keep these doubts to ourselves. This today I can admit and say it, it also weighed on us, it weighed on me.

"But in order to arrive at this day today, we had to give confidence. We had to show a way out of this crisis. We had to provide stability. We had to build trust. We had to give hope."

The IOC announced updated COVID-19 case figures for the Games on Tuesday, with 40 confirmed cases involving residents of Japan and 31 affecting those from overseas.

A female United States gymnast has tested positive for coronavirus while training in Tokyo ahead of the Olympics, the US Olympic Committee (USOC) has confirmed.

The unnamed athlete was an alternate – a team member included as a reserve – and will now isolate along with another team member who has been identified as a close contact.

"The health and safety of our athletes, coaches and staff is our top priority," a USOC statement read.

"We can confirm that an alternate on the women's artistic gymnastics team tested positive for COVID-19.

"Out of respect for the individual's privacy, we cannot provide more information at this time."

The positive test comes just four days before the delayed Games begins, with fellow US female gymnast Simone Biles set to be one of the stars of the competition.

The 24-year-old won four gold medals and a bronze at Rio 2016 and will be looking to add to that haul when the women's gymnastics competition starts on July 25.

It was also confirmed on Monday that Czech Republic beach volleyball player Ondrej Perusic tested positive for COVID-19.

Perusic and playing partner David Schweiner are due to begin their Tokyo 2020 campaign against Latvia on July 26, but the Czech Olympic Committee will seek to postpone the game until Perusic is cleared to play.

The number of Games-linked individuals to have tested positive for coronavirus since testing began on July 1 stood at 60 on Monday.

South Africa's men's football pair Thabiso Monyane and Kamohelo Mahlatsi were the first two athletes inside the Olympic Village to test positive over the weekend.

Around 11,000 athletes from 205 national Olympic committees are expected to stay at the village over the next three weeks.

The 2020 Games, delayed by a year due to the global health pandemic, will be held mostly without spectators due to a state of emergency being declared in Tokyo.

Infection rates in the Japanese capital have topped 1,000 for five days running, with a seven-day average of 1,068 as of Sunday.

Eight members of Great Britain's Tokyo Olympics athletics team are self-isolating after coming into close contact with an individual who tested positive for COVID-19.

The six athletes and two staff members, who each tested negative for coronavirus before flying to Japan last week, are now under the supervision of Team GB's medical team.

The individual who tested positive for coronavirus is not from the British delegation.

Team GB chef de mission, Mark England, said: "This is disappointing news for the athletes and staff, but we absolutely respect the protocols in place.

"We will offer them every support during this period and we are hopeful that they will be able resume training again soon."

The number of Games-linked individuals to have tested positive for coronavirus since testing began on July 1 now stands at 58 as of Monday, a rise of three from Sunday's update.

The latest three individuals to have tested positive – a Games-concerned personnel, a Tokyo 2020 contractor and a member of the media – will isolate for 14 days in hotel rooms.

No further athletes contracting the illness will be considered good news for officials after three individuals tested positive in the athletes' village over the weekend.

Two of those were confirmed on Sunday to be Thabiso Monyane and Kamohelo Mahlatsi of the South Africa men's football team, with the other being the team's video analyst.

Twenty-one South African players and officials have been identified as close contacts of the pair and must also isolate to stop the virus spreading in the Olympic Village.

Around 11,000 athletes from 205 national Olympic committees are expected to stay at the village over the next three weeks.

The 2020 Games, delayed by a year due to the global health pandemic, officially begins on Friday and will be held mostly without spectators due to a state of emergency being declared in Tokyo.

Infection rates in the Japanese capital have topped 1,000 for five days running, with a seven-day average of 1,068 as of Sunday.

Coco Gauff has tested positive for COVID-19 and must miss the Olympic Games in Tokyo, the American tennis prodigy announced on Sunday.

Gauff, who reached the last-16 stage at Wimbledon before losing to Angelique Kerber, has passed the $1million mark for prize-money in a season for the first time this year, rising to 25th in the WTA rankings.

The 17-year-old has a win-loss record of 31-12 for the campaign so far, and won the Emilia-Romagna Open title on clay in May.

She announced her news on social media, writing: "I am so disappointed to share the news that I have tested positive for COVID and won't be able to play in the Olympic Games in Tokyo.

"It has always been a dream of mine to represent the USA at the Olympics, and I hope there will be many more chances for me to make this come true in the future. I want to wish TEAM USA best of luck and a safe Games for every Olympian and the entire Olympic family."

The United States Tennis Association said it was "saddened" by the news, adding: "The entire USA Tennis Olympic contingent is heartbroken for Coco.

"We wish her the best as she deals with this unfortunate situation and hope to see her back on the courts very soon. We know Coco will join all of us in rooting on the other Team USA members who will be travelling to Japan and competing in the coming days."

Gauff joins a host of star names from tennis who have been ruled out, or have ruled themselves out, of the trip to Tokyo.

Serena Williams decided she would not play even before suffering a leg injury at Wimbledon, while Simona Halep, Sofia Kenin, Victoria Azarenka, Bianca Andreescu and Kerber are among other major absentees from the women's draw.

Duncan Scott intends to "control the controllables" at the Tokyo Olympics and has given no thought to repeating the anti-doping protest he made at the World Championships two years ago.

Team GB swimmer Scott made headlines in Gwangju when, after winning bronze in the 200 metres freestyle, he refused to share the podium with gold medal winner Sun Yang.

Sun, who previously served a three-month doping ban in 2014, was at the time subject to a Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) case over a smashed vial during a drugs test. Last month CAS reduced an eight-year ban to four years backdated to May 2020, meaning he could potentially compete at the Paris Olympics in 2024.

Following the podium snub, Sun reacted angrily to Scott and appeared to shout "you're a loser, I'm a winner" at this rival.

Scott insists his actions at the time were not personal and merely a message at promoting a clean sport, while his focus in the coming month is purely on affecting his own performance.

"I don't really know [if the situation has improved], obviously we've had COVID so there were no competitions in 2020," Scott, who collected two golds and three silvers at the rescheduled European Championships in May, told a round-table of journalists. 

"I would say since then I can only really control the controllables. I know that's so cliche but especially with COVID and with dates moving about it's made me think even less about things I can't influence. 

"I can't affect it so why should I bother about it? It's not something I've thought about to be honest.

"I think then, doing it and making that stance was for a purpose of clean sport it was nothing personal against anyone. And I think that was seen in the right way, several people have made their voices heard for those reasons.

"I think [fellow Team GB swimmer Adam] Peaty comes out and speaks about it well a lot, as a team-mate of his in different competitions I've got to back what he says and the way he puts it across I think is really well."

Several athletes voiced concerns at reduced drug testing during the height of the coronavirus pandemic – which caused a postponement of the Games – last year, but Scott added: "I can't control it, it's not something I think about. 

"If I perform at my best I'll be there or thereabouts. I did some nice drops at the trials and for me I've really just got to focus on myself.

"Swimming isn't like many team sports, you can't influence what someone does in the lane next to you, you've just got to focus on your own race."

Last month, Scott swapped the swimming cap for a graduation cap after receiving a 2:1 in Business and Sports Studies at the University of Stirling.

Scott, who is dyslexic, said he may revisit his studies further down the line, but for now is focused on his goals in the pool.

"Personally, I found it really challenging, as not much of a school person at all I found that really difficult so to be able to do a degree in itself and be offered a place was great, and I thought I may as well while I'm swimming," he added.

"I think halfway through my second year I was like I need to try and sort something out with the uni I'm finding this really difficult to manage. And the uni were great, I did my first two years full-time, then split third and fourth year up. 

"I would have actually finished in 2020 but decided to take January to June out, I was like the Olympics [are happening] I'll take that out – never happened! 

"I did really enjoy it, I found it really challenging which I think potentially was a really good thing. Being dyslexic and not really enjoying school too much and being stuck in a classroom I'm really proud of the fact I was able to get a 2:1. 

"It may be something I go back to and potentially do a Masters but I can't see that for a while. I'd like to do the next cycle and just focus on swimming – there are a lot of meets next year, with all the governing bodies not really talking to each other you've got Europeans, commies [Commonwealth Games] and Worlds all next year, I was just delighted to finish it to be honest."

Scott, who won two silver relay medals at Rio 2016, says he takes inspiration from some of Scotland's finest competitors, such as cycling legend Chris Hoy and tennis great Andy Murray as he aims to earn more accolades in Tokyo.

"I don't really know them, I say I sort of still look up to many of them, I wouldn't put myself in the same bracket at all," he said.

"Personally, I used to look up a lot to – not that I don't anymore it sounds bad – but Chris Hoy for example, and the way Murray conducts himself on and off the tennis court I think is phenomenal. 

"I find it inspiring the way he still plays and people ask why he still competes and he says he just enjoys the hard work, that's quite refreshing to hear."

The first two athletes to test positive for coronavirus in Tokyo's Olympic Village have been confirmed as members of South Africa's men's football team.

Games organisers announced in their daily update on Sunday that there had been 10 positive cases in the latest round of testing, taking the overall total this month to 55.

That includes three individuals based in the athletes' village, with an event official previously testing positive on Saturday.

The South African Football Association released a statement later on Sunday confirming Thabiso Monyane and Kamohelo Mahlatsi were the pair to return positive tests.

Orlando Pirates right-back Monyane and Moroka Swallows attacking midfielder Mahlatsi, plus video analyst Mario Masha, will now isolate in a hotel room for 14 days.

A fourth South African participant, rugby sevens coach Neil Powell, also produced a positive result. All four individuals tested negative before flying to Japan this week.

Team South Africa chief medical officer Dr Phatho Zondi said in a statement: "Every member of Team South Africa required full medical clearance as an eligibility criteria. 

"In addition, they were encouraged to isolate for two weeks pre-departure, monitor health daily, report any symptoms, and produce two negative nasopharyngeal PCR tests taken within 96 hours of departure, as per Tokyo 2020 requirements.

"The timing of the positive results suggests that the PCR test in these individuals was done during the incubation period of the infection, which is how they could be negative in South Africa and then positive in Japan. 

"They are now in isolation where they will continue to be monitored and will not be allowed to train or have any physical contact with the rest of the squad."

South Africa are scheduled to face tournament hosts Japan in their opening Group A game next Thursday, before taking on France and Mexico on July 25 and July 28 respectively.

Sunday's news of two athletes testing positive for COVID-19 inside the athletes' village will raise further concerns over the Olympics going ahead as planned.

The 2020 Games, already delayed by a year due to the global health pandemic, officially begins on Friday and will be held mostly without spectators due to a state of emergency being declared in Tokyo.

Infection rates in the Japanese capital have topped 1,000 for four days running.

Around 11,000 athletes from 205 national Olympic committees are expected to stay at the village over the next three weeks.

International Olympic Committee president Thomas Bach reiterated on Saturday that the first positive case posed no risk to the Japanese population.

"We are well aware of the scepticism a number of people have here in Japan," he added at a news conference. "My appeal to the Japanese people is to welcome the athletes for their competitions."

South Africa have confirmed Bongi Mbonambi, Scarra Ntubeni and Dan du Preez have been cleared to link up with the squad after completing their mandatory self-isolation period following positive COVID-19 tests results.

The trio were forced to sit out South Africa A's victory over the British and Irish Lions on Wednesday, as well as the shock 17-14 defeat to the Bulls at Cape Town Stadium.

With six days to go until the series opener against the Lions in Cape Town, all three players have been cleared to resume training with their team-mates.

South Africa had not played a Test match in 20 months prior to beating Georgia two weeks ago, and Kwagga Smith accepts there is a lot of work ahead for the reigning world champions.

"We haven't played Test matches in almost two years, so we got together and started working on it in the last three games and we can now analyse that," he told SA Rugby's official website.

"We need to use our opportunities because in Test matches there aren't many of them, so we have to convert them into points, and we have to sharpen up and get into our system and enforce it onto them."

The majority of the Boks' fringe players failed to impress in the defeat to Bulls, whereas the Lions flexed their muscles with a 49-3 win over the Stormers in their final warm-up match.

Cobus Reinach, one of the rare shining lights for South Africa on Saturday, agrees with Smith that a big improvement is needed if his side are to stop Warren Gatland's men.

"We left a lot of opportunities on the park, but that is something for us to look at, and each one of us has to look at our performance," he said.

"We can improve, and we have to ensure that we do better when we find ourselves in a similar situation. We are aligned as a squad and we know what we have to do.

"We need to execute what we want to do at a platinum standard, and everyone just needs to do their job and make sure they do it well.

"Collectively we didn’t put our stamp down, but we can fix that, and we are feeling confident going forward."

Two athletes in Tokyo's Olympic Village have tested positive for coronavirus ahead of the Games, organisers confirmed on Sunday.

The pair - listed as non-residents of Japan - will now isolate in a hotel room for 14 days. It takes the total number of known cases in the athletes' village to three, after an official had also tested positive.

There has already been a total of 55 cases linked to the Olympics this month, 10 of which were added to the list on Sunday, with another athlete from outside the village also contracting the virus.

Infection rates in Tokyo have topped 1,000 for four days running, raising further concerns about the global event going ahead.

The 2020 Games, delayed by a year due to the global health pandemic, officially begins on Friday and will be held mostly without spectators due to a state of emergency being declared in Tokyo.

Around 11,000 athletes from 205 national Olympic committees are expected to stay at the village over the next three weeks.

International Olympic Committee president Thomas Bach reiterated on Saturday that the first positive case posed no risk to the Japanese population.

"We are well aware of the scepticism a number of people have here in Japan," he added at a news conference. 

"My appeal to the Japanese people is to welcome the athletes for their competitions."

Japan men's football captain Maya Yoshida has called on Olympics organisers to reconsider their decision to stage the Tokyo Games behind closed doors.

The call to ban spectators from attending events was taken earlier this month after Japan's capital city was placed into a state of emergency amid rising COVID-19 cases.

However, fans are still able to attend certain other sporting contests within the country away from the Olympics, such as Japan's friendly with Spain in Kobe on Saturday.

A socially distanced crowd was present for the 1-1 draw and Yoshida has questioned why locals will not be permitted to attend matches when the Games begin next week.

"I think a lot of people's tax money is going to hold these Olympics," Yoshida is quoted as saying by the Asahi newspaper.

"Despite that, people can't go and watch. So you wonder about who the Olympics is for, and what it is for. Of course athletes want to play in front of fans."

Tokyo 2020 officials confirmed the first coronavirus case at the Olympic Village on Saturday, since when two athletes have reportedly tested positive.

"Our families have sacrificed and put up with things, they supported us when we were competing in Europe," Sampdoria defender Yoshida added.

"It's not just the players who were competing, but the family members, every one of them.

"So if they can't watch the match, well who and what is that match for, there is that question. I really hope we can reconsider that seriously."

Japan will take on South Africa in their opening Group A game on Thursday, before facing Mexico and France. The top two sides will advance to the quarter-finals.

Sport has a nasty habit of chewing up and spitting out even the most elite of athletes, so the idea of any competitor being a shoo-in for Olympic gold at Tokyo 2020 may seem a little silly.

But, and whisper this quietly, Adam Peaty is about as close to a certainty to sit atop the podium in the Japanese capital as you can get, such has been his utter dominance of the 100 metres breaststroke.

Four years ago, Peaty was one of the posterboys of Great Britain's success at the Rio Olympics, breaking the world record en route to winning gold.

Since then, he has beaten his own benchmark twice including going under 57 seconds at the World Championships in Gwangju two years ago. Indeed, he is remarkably in possession of the 20 fastest times ever recorded in the event.

It would be an almighty high horse from which to fall but a laser-focused Peaty is convinced Tokyo is not the time the tide will turn on his fortunes.

"I don't know I guess it's just a by-product of what I've done for the last seven years," Peaty told a round-table of journalists during a pre-Games Team GB camp.

"I think if you're as dominant as I have been, without trying to sound arrogant, you come to a realistic fact I haven't lost a championship in the 100m in a long time. 

"It's kind of nice to go into the Games knowing I've got that and obviously I have the heritage of what have I done and a history of performing when it matters. I think going into these Games I'm the most liberated I have ever been.

"Let's hope that lightning strike doesn't hit me but sport is sport, it can happen - anything can happen in sport, we all know that and sometimes the greats do fall. I believe this Olympics isn't my time yet so I think it's going to be a good one."

 

Pressure can do funny things to an athlete and there is no more pressurised environment than an Olympic Games.

But Peaty's confidence is not misplaced. Over the past seven years, the now 26-year-old has been untouchable in his speciality.

In an ominous sign for his rivals, Peaty appears more serene than ever as he aims to become the first British swimmer to defend an Olympic title thanks to a mix of becoming a father to his son George – now 10 months old – and the ability to take stock of what is important after over a year and a half of disruption caused by the coronavirus pandemic that so nearly curtailed these Olympics altogether.

Asked if being a father is part of what has helped him feel so liberated, Peaty replied: "I think so.

"And I think lockdown last year gave me that kind of a second wind, I always felt like I was charging, charging, charging. Now I can switch off very easily. 

"It might be to do with having a kid. I feel like I've got more energy when I come to a holding camp because I haven't got a kid screaming, or a kid to feed or a kid to hold. 

"But also I think it is having a bit more maturity, I've grown up more in this last year than I have in the last six years. I think if you look at a picture of me from Rio and a picture now it's like I've had 10 kids!

"I've had a bit of a face change, but that's part and parcel of it as you do get older and become a better athlete and more experienced athlete, these environments become a lot easier and you know what it feels like to bring a gold medal home to the country so it's a good position to be in."

The struggles so many have endured due to the proliferation of COVID-19 has only added fuel to the fire for Peaty, who is determined to inspire a new generation into the pool.

"I think going into these Games next week, no British swimmer has ever defended an Olympic title. That's something in the back of my mind but it's not a distraction. And obviously, every Olympics I want to inspire as many people as possible back home," he said.

"Especially this year when people have been through such a rough time, we can show that just because we have been through that doesn't mean we have to stand still or retreat, or take a step backwards, we can always go through that adversity with a bit of British humour and say 'you know what let's have this one' and take it on the chin really. 

"That pure passion and inspiration just comes naturally to me and hopefully when people wake up in the morning I can show I have done that."

 

One thing all athletes will miss this year is the roar of the crowd and the adrenaline rush received from that wall of noise.

Organisers decided no spectators can be in attendance at venues in Tokyo due to the fear of the spread of coronavirus.

Peaty acknowledges it is a shame to lose that part of the spectacle but is used to racing in the absence of spectators by now.

"It's definitely going to take something out of the arena, no one likes to perform without fans - it does feel a little bit eerie," he said.

"But you've always got to acknowledge millions of people around the world watch it on TV, so I think mentally it's probably one of the toughest arenas to race in because they get such a high off the crowd. 

"Also, I think it's an opportunity for other people who are scared of the crowd, so these Olympics are going to be a bit different in terms of psychology and performance psychology especially.

"For me I'm going to make sure I'm in the most optimal mindset – I've been racing without crowds now for a year, I've still broken world records without the crowd and yeah we'll just see how it goes. Obviously you want people there to witness history."

There has been much-publicised opposition to the Games from within Japan and plenty of scepticism from others too about the decision to go ahead during a pandemic.

Peaty is philosophical, though, saying: "It's quite a hard question, obviously you have to think about normal people who do live here. 

"But at the opposite end of the spectrum you've got to have the realisation and respect athletes have trained every single day for five years, getting up at 5am, going to bed at half 10 with a screaming baby!

"They commit their whole lives to this three-week event, so you're never going to get the right answer. You have to look at it - if you sat everyone around a table, everyone would have an opinion."

The Games will begin and history is within reach. So, what does the man himself think makes him so brilliant at this craft?

"It sounds very cliche but I'm very obsessed with continual improvement and pushing the boundaries of what's possible," he said. 

"I don't want to end my career and go 'oh I could have done that or I should have done this'. It's that relationship with the team that makes me that person. But I think it's also I just love to race, I love to scrap and I like to dominate. That's why I swim, that's why I race it gives me something I can't get in normal life. 

"Also I spoke to my performance psychologist, my mind I see it almost as a landscape because he was talking about levels and you go this level, you have elite levels and possibly some of the best athletes ever born. 

"But I don't see it as levels anymore, it's just too linear to think of it like that you have to think of it as a landscape – some days you've just got to attack the f*****g mountain, that's as simple as it is.

"You've got to go, you've got to work hard, you've got to go out there with that option. But also I need a pint at the weekend sometimes to calm me down. That's going back into the valley, almost a strategic withdrawal from my training.

"I think that balance has given me so much more this year that I didn't even know existed. Lockdown has obviously been awful for everyone, but also I think it's given me that extra edge of what matters and what does work and doesn't work either."

And another world record sure would be nice, wouldn't it?

"A world record at this stage is obviously very, very hard but never impossible," he conceded.

"It's within my reach if I get my preparation right this next seven days. Obviously I'll see how the heats goes, the semi-finals goes and can kind of take it from there."

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."

Tokyo Olympics organisers have confirmed the first case of COVID-19 at the athletes' village, raising further concerns about the Games going ahead.

Thousands of athletes and media personnel are arriving in the Japanese capital ahead of the global competition beginning on July 23.

There has already been a total of 44 coronavirus cases linked to the Olympics, including one overseas visitor who is involved in organising the Games.

The person in question, whose nationality has not been disclosed for privacy reasons, is now quarantining for 14 days in a hotel room.

Tokyo 2020 CEO Toshiro Muto confirmed the news at a news conference on Saturday and added: "That positive cases arise is something we must assume is possible."

Around 11,000 athletes from 205 national Olympic committees are expected to stay at the Olympic Village over the next three weeks.

Speaking earlier this week, International Olympic Committee president Thomas Bach vowed Tokyo would host a "safe and secure" Olympics.

IOC official Joan Coates also insisted it was down to organisers to ensure the Olympic Village "is the safest place in Tokyo".

Following news of Friday's positive case in the camp, however, Games chief Seiko Hashimoto says it is understandable that some athletes may be concerned.

"Athletes who are coming to Japan are probably very worried. I understand that," Hashimoto said.

"That is the reason why we need to make full disclosure.

"We are doing everything to prevent any COVID-19 outbreaks. If we end up with an outbreak we will make sure we have a plan in place to respond."

The 2020 Games, delayed by a year, will be held mostly without spectators after a state of emergency was called in Tokyo amid rising coronavirus cases.

Another 1,271 new COVID-19 cases were reported on Friday, compared to 822 on the same day last week.

England have been drawn in the same group as rivals Australia for the T20 World Cup, while India have been placed in a pool with Pakistan.

The Super 12 stage of the 16-team limited-overs tournament will see England, Australia, South Africa and West Indies do battle in Group 1, along with two qualifying teams.

Group 2 will contain India and Pakistan, along with New Zealand, Afghanistan and an additional two qualifiers.

Eight teams are involved in round one of the tournament and will vie to fill those final four places in the Super 12.

Sri Lanka, Ireland, Netherlands and Namibia are in Group A, while Bangladesh, Scotland, Oman and Papa New Guinea make up Group B, with two from each pool to progress and join the highest-ranked nations.

A short round one stage will include 12 matches, starting on October 17 and the top two from each group progressing.

The winners of Group A joining the group involving England and Australia along with the runners-up of Group B. Bangladesh are favourites to win Group B - if they do, they will join the competitive group containing India along with the side who finishes second in Group A.

The Super 12 stage is scheduled to start a week later from October 24 and will consist of 30 matches, making up the bulk of the tournament.

Only four teams will emerge to contest the semi-finals, with the final then to be held on November 14.

It was confirmed last month by the ICC that the T20 World Cup will now be held in the United Arab Emirates and Oman rather than India this year.

Australia was originally scheduled to host the 2020 tournament ahead of India staging it this year. 

However, the pandemic forced the ICC to postpone last year's tournament, giving Australia hosting rights for 2022.

A second surge in cases of coronavirus in India then forced a major change to the 2021 competition, which will still be hosted by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI).

West Indies are the defending champions after defeating England in the final the last time this tournament was held back in 2016.

England and India are rated as the leading contenders to come out on top, ranked one and two in the world respectively by the ICC in the format.

Alex de Minaur is "shattered" to be missing the Tokyo Olympics after he tested positive for COVID-19.

De Minaur was the headline name of Australia's Olympics men's tennis team, alongside Nick Kyrgios.

However, Kyrgios pulled out last week due to a concern over the decision to ban fans from attending events due to a spike in coronavirus cases in Japan.

Now world number 17 De Minaur has joined a list of absentees which already includes Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal, while the woman's tournament will be without Serena Williams and former medallists Victoria Azarenka and Angelique Kerber, who withdrew on Friday.

"We have been advised that Alex de Minaur has had a positive test, as a consequence, Alex, sadly will be unable to join the Australian team," Australia's chef de mission Ian Chesterman said.

"We are very disappointed for Alex and he is shattered at not being able to come. It has been his dream to represent Australia at the Olympic Games since he was a child, but he sent his best wishes for the team."

De Minaur undertook both the mandatory 96-hour and 72-hour PCR tests before departure. However, Australia are confident his positive result will have no impact on the rest of their team.

The 22-year-old was set to take part in his first Games, representing Australia in the singles and doubles.

"No other tennis players have had physical contact with Alex since he left Wimbledon on 5 July, where he tested negative," Chesterman added.

"All other Australian players have tested negative since. We look forward to welcoming those athletes into our team.

"We need to protect this bubble and Alex has been caught up in that system. While we will miss Alex, he understands the reasons why he cannot be with us."

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