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Olympic athletes' return to training center delayed by surge in coronavirus cases

All News 08:20 May 11, 2020

SEOUL, May 11 (Yonhap) -- The scheduled return of South Korean Olympic athletes to the national training center has been pushed back by a week in light of a recent spike in new coronavirus cases.

The Korean Sport & Olympic Committee (KSOC) said Monday that the first batch of athletes and coaches who had been set to reenter the Jincheon National Training Center this week will do so next week.

In this file photo from March 27, 2020, South Korean karate athletes prepare to move out of the Jincheon National Training Center in Jincheon, 90 kilometers south of Seoul. (Yonhap)

They had cleared out of the training center in March, after the 2020 Tokyo Olympics got postponed by one year due to the coronavirus pandemic. The KSOC sent some 500 athletes and coaches home to recharge -- they had been holed up inside the national center for months on end -- and then sanitized Jincheon gyms and residence buildings.

Buoyed by a steady decline in COVID-19 cases last month, the KSOC said on April 27 that the athletes will return this week. The plan was thrown off track over the weekend, as the country saw a surge in cases connected to clubs and bars in Seoul's multicultural district of Itaewon.

Athletes must first undergo COVID-19 tests before returning to Jincheon.

In this file photo from March 27, 2020, vehicles are lined up near the exit of the Jincheon National Training Center in Jincheon, 90 kilometers south of Seoul, as athletes and coaches move out of the facility following the postponement of the Tokyo Olympics. (Yonhap)

jeeho@yna.co.kr
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