TOKYO—Crisis struck Team Philippines on the eve of the Summer Olympic Games here, with one of its best coaches testing positive for COVID-19 and one of its brightest hopes altering what could be his winning routine following a bad fall two weeks ago.
The embattled coach was quickly separated from the team and will be put in an isolation facility following a positive COVID-19 test result, Philippine Olympic Committee president Rep. Abraham “Bambol” Tolentino revealed during a mini conference at the CONRAD Tokyo.
The daily tests at the Athletes Village on coaches and players, yielded a false positive test on the said coach, prompting his isolation and a confirmatory test, which turned out be negative. A third and fourth test yielded two straight positive results on the said coach, who is now running a fever.
“While waiting for another confirmatory test, I have ordered our chef de mission Mariano Araneta to separate him from our team. If the next result is negative, we are sending him home. If he again tests positive, he will be brought to a quarantine hospital. Either way, wala na muna siya sa team,” said Tolentino earlier while waiting for the fourth and final test.
“To further mitigate the risks to the Philippine team, we have decided to separate the coach from the delegation,” said POC Secretary General Edwin Gastanes.
As this developed, Gymnastics Association of the Philippines president Cynthia Carrion revealed that world champion gymnast Carlos Yulo will not be doing his signature and possibly gold-clinching triple back and double forward routine after a bad fall while training at the Ariake Gymnastics Centre two weeks ago.
“He is okay na, but he won’t be doing that routine anymore for fear of making a mistake, which might cost him the gold,” said Carrion of Yulo, one of the favorites to end the Philippines’ 97-year gold medal drought.
Yulo starts his campaign on July 24 for the qualification of the apparatus. Finals of the individual all-around, if he qualifies, will be on July 28. The floor exercise finals will be on Aug. 1, vault on Aug. 2 and parallel bars on Aug. 3 along with horizontal bar. The pommel horse and rings finals are slated on Aug. 1 and 2.