- The Washington Times - Monday, July 19, 2021

An alternate on the U.S. women’s gymnastics team tested positive for COVID-19 Monday while training for the Tokyo Summer Games, raising fresh concerns about transmission four days before the Olympics begin.

The U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee haven’t released the name of the athlete, though the positive test is the first one in the American delegation.

Officials in Inzai, located about 35 miles east of Tokyo, confirmed the test and described the athlete as a teenager. She and another alternate gymnast went into separate lodgings. The regular six-member gymnastics team is at the Olympic Village in Tokyo.

There have been more than 50 reported cases tied to the Games, which kick off Friday and last until Aug. 8.

Three members of the South African soccer team tested positive and members of the U.K. team had to self-isolate after they were potentially exposed on the flight to Japan.

Coco Gauff, the 17-year-old American tennis phenom, said Sunday she is pulling out the Olympics after testing positive.

Tokyo organizers say they expected cases to pop up, and they are prepared to make sure they don’t spawn clusters and super-spreader events, citing regular testing and social distancing at the Olympic Village.

Still, the rising tally casts another shadow over the Games — which were delayed a year, will not feature fans and are unpopular at home due to coronavirus fears.

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