Olympic 100-meter freestyle champion Kyle Chalmers has defended the possibility of being in Japan as “scary” and hopes the Australian will make an impact at the Covid-19 Tokyo Games. The 22-year-old, one of Australia’s best gold medalists in swimming, is making preparations as he prepares for the upcoming Olympics with American Caeleb Dressel. Chalmers overtook Dressel to win gold at the 2016 Rio Olympics, but the American won the 2019 world title in 46.96 seconds.
He is under emergency measures in Tokyo, so strict as to block blankets to deal with the fourth wave of coronavirus cases, he admitted he was nervous.
“Obviously, it’s scary,” Chalmers told his hometown newspaper, Adelaide Advertiser, ahead of the Australian Olympics next weekend.
“My biggest fear is going through the playoffs and the finals and then being positive for Covid and you’re out of the finals and sitting in your bedroom for 14 days.”
Now, if not all, Australian Athletes will be vaccinated before going to Tokyo. However, it was not immediately clear whether Chalmers received a jab or intended to insert it.
Although Japan has seen a smaller Covid-19 outbreak than in many other countries, with just over 13,000 dead, organizers face constant domestic opposition to the Olympics amid fears of a new rise with thousands of athletes and staff entering the country.
Chalmers said he expected the virus case to reach the Games.
“I keep track of numbers in Tokyo (the Covid case) and they’re starting to go down, which is good, but I think it’s probably inevitable that Covid (Athletes) will be in and around the town and have some impact on the Games,” he said.
Despite his worries, Chalmers is keen to defend his title.
“I’m not here to train 40 hours a week to be the second best in the world. I’m training to be number one, so I’m definitely very motivated to stay there,” he said.
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