Despite strict restrictions at the ongoing Tokyo Olympics 2020, the beach volleyball tournament saw its opening match between Japan and the Czech Republic canceled. Organizers canceled the match because of a positive COVID test returned by Czech player Markéta Sluková.
As a result, Japan garnered the first victory of the tournament by default.
Japan-Czech Republic beach volleyball match canceled due to COVID-19 at Tokyo Olympics 2020
Although the organizers of the Games created a strict bio-bubble, the COVID concerns in Tokyo seem to have creeped into the bubble. While other events on Day 1 went off smoothly, the beach volleyball tournament suffered the first major hiccup of the Games.
Since Sluková tested positive, she and her teammate Barbora Hermannova had no choice but to stay away from participation. While Japan’s pairing of Megumi Murakami and Miki Ishii would have made their debut in this match, they didn’t get the chance to perform on court.
Japan’s Miki Ishii and Megumi Murakami won the first women’s match of the beach volleyball tournament at the Tokyo Olympics by default after their Czech opponents withdrew due to COVID-19. #Tokyo2020 #Olympics https://t.co/JUd47TPdbJ
— Rappler (@rapplerdotcom) July 24, 2021
However, Japan claimed the first victory in the tournament because of the Czechs’ forfeiture. Along with these two teams, they also have Switzerland and Germany in Pool F. Those two teams will compete later today in the second match of the pool at 3:00pm local time.
Sluková joins fellow beach volleyball player in COVID-19 positive list
The 33-year-old joined male beach volleyball player Ondřej Perušič after testing positive for COVID-19. While she missed out on performing today, Perušič will miss out on representing the Czechs in the men’s beach volleyball tournament.
Tokyo 2020 Olympics – Beach Volleyball Training – Shiokaze Park, Tokyo, Japan – July 19, 2021 Barbora Hermannova and Marketa Slukova of the Czech Republic during training REUTERS/Edgar Su
The next match for the Czech women’s beach volleyball team is against Switzerland. While the match is scheduled for Monday, July 26, doubts remain on whether Slukova and Hermannova will take part.
Elsewhere, Brazil got their campaign off to a strong start by defeating Argentina in Pool C 21-19, 21-11. In Pool A, Canada recorded a relatively easier straight sets victory over Netherlands. That game finished 21-16, 21-14.
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