TOKYO — Wondering why both Trinidad and Tobago athletes Andwuelle Wright and Sparkle Ann McKnight did not compete in their respective events at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games?
The simple answer is COVID-19.
The pair were forced to withdraw from the Games after they both tested positive for the novel coronavirus, the country’s Olympic committee revealed on Friday.
Wright was supposed to line up in Group B of the men’s long jump but missed his event on Saturday due to the positive test.
Meanwhile, McKnight was slated to race in heat three of the women’s 400 meters hurdles during the morning session against Dutch and European star Femke Bol, but the 29-year-old wasn’t able to start.
She was one of the favorites to progress from her heat, having owned a personal best of 55.15 seconds and ran a season’s best of 55.62s in July.
The pair, in addition to track and field coach Wendell Williams who also tested positive for COVID-19, were moved into a quarantine facility, the Trinidad and Tobago Olympic Committee said in a statement.
It is not clear whether the trio received the vaccine.
“This came following two Nasopharyngeal PCR verification tests in accordance with established Tokyo 2020 COVID-19 protocols, countermeasures and guidelines,” the release said.
“The three members have been transferred to the approval isolation hotel facility for foreign athletes and officials to commence mandatory quarantine.”
The team’s COVID-19 Liaison officer Rheeza Grant and Chef de Mission, Lovie Santana revealed that there has been communication with the trio, adding that “they are doing very well.”
The news arrived after two pole vaulters, American double world champion Sam Kendricks and Argentina’s German Chiaraviglio, were also ruled out of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games earlier in the week after they too returned positive COVID-19 tests.