ROME • Wayde van Niekerk, the 400m world record holder, has tested positive for the coronavirus, according to Italian daily Gazzetta dello Sport on Saturday.
The South African, who has been in quarantine since arriving in Italy on July 19 on a special flight, was supposed to run in the 100m and 400m at the Trieste Meet, which would have been his first competition outside his homeland since 2017.
His manager Peet van Zyl was shocked, saying: “I don’t know how it’s possible. Wayde has been training for the whole week and never had any symptom, not even after testing positive. He hasn’t had a fever.
“We’ve always been isolated, we’ve never been with other people, we have a hotel floor just for us, we only left the hotel to go to the track.”
He also told Gazzetta: “In the last 14 days, each of us has been tested four times, the last one was on Thursday.
“This afternoon (Friday), we were asked to be tested again, we want to make sure to be safe and we are waiting for the results.”
The 28-year-old van Niekerk clocked a record 43.03 seconds to win the 400m gold at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games but has been out of action since 2017 with a knee injury.
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