As the Coronavirus lurks, Fraser-Pryce is the face of Olympic athletics.
As coronavirus fears linger over the commencement of the sports competition on Friday, Jamaican sprint queen Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce will make her spectacular bow at the Tokyo Olympics.
When she competes at Tokyo’s Olympic Stadium, the reigning 100m champion will attempt to become the first woman to win an individual Olympic athletics event three times.
After Britain’s 2012 and 2016 champion Mo Farah failed to qualify, a new champion in the men’s 10,000m will be crowned, and US star Allyson Felix will compete in the heats of the inaugural 4x400m mixed relay.
A day after a Covid-19 scare put Australia’s athletics team into temporary isolation in the Olympic Village, competition begins in the fan-free, 68,000-capacity stadium.
Three Australians remain in isolation as close contacts of US pole vaulter Sam Kendricks, who tested positive for Covid-19 and was thrown out of the Games after testing positive for the virus.
Shortly after Kendricks’ case became public, Argentine pole vaulter German Chiaraviglio announced that he had tested positive as well and would not compete in the Games.
The incident served as a stark reminder of the dangers that competitors face in the Tokyo Olympics, where their Olympic aspirations could be shattered at any time.
Chiaraviglio, 34, posted on Instagram, “We knew this Olympic game was different and with other rules, and here I am, it’s my turn.”
“It’s terrible to live through this, but it will pass,” he continued.
The men’s 10,000m final, the sole final on day one of the athletics, might include two Ugandans: world record holder Joshua Cheptegei and world leader Jacob Kiplimo.
Both Commonwealth champion Cheptegei and Kiplimo are aiming for the 5,000m-10,000m double in Tokyo. Cheptegei finished sixth in Rio before capturing global silver in 2017 and gold in 2019.
Karsten Warholm of Norway and Rai Benjamin of the United States compete in the men’s 400m hurdles heats, while Felix, 35, competes in the mixed relay preliminaries for the fifth and last time.
In the pool, Australia’s gold surge in the women’s 100m freestyle will be continued by Emma McKeon and Cate Campbell, while Russia’s Evgeny Rylov will attempt to add the 200m backstroke to his 100m gold.
Teddy Riner of France is attempting to become the first man to win three straight heavyweight titles, while Marin Cilic and Ivan Dodig compete in an all-Croatian men’s doubles final against Nikola Mektic and Mate Pavic.
There are gold medals in badminton, canoe slalom, fencing, rowing, shooting, and table tennis on day seven. Brief News from Washington Newsday.