Veteran Namibian cyclist Dan Craven’s dream of making his third appearance at the Olympic Games suffered a massive setback over the weekend after he was forced to withdraw from the upcoming Tokyo Olympics after testing positive for Covid-19.
Craven, who represented Namibia at the 2012 Olympics in London and 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics, was one of two cyclists, along with Vera Adrian, who were set to represent the country in the road race and time trial events in Tokyo, Japan. The Olympics start this Friday.
Both the Namibian Cycling Federation (NCF) and the Namibian National Olympic Committee (NNOC) confirmed Craven’s Covid-19 positive test, and his subsequent withdrawal from Team Namibia’s list of travelling athletes.
The NCF and NNOC said Craven will now be replaced by budding talent Tristan de Lange, and subject to final confirmation from the International Cycling Union (UCI), De Lange will represent Namibia in the 233km road race around Mount Fuji on Saturday, 24 July.
“Also, the team manager for our cyclists, Axel Theissen, will now be replaced by Mannie Heymans,” said the two bodies.
In total, Namibia will be represented by 11 athletes, seven coaches, two mechanics (for the bicycles), one doctor, one physiotherapist and three officials in Japan. The athletes are Adrian, De Lange, boxer Jonas Junias Jonas, rower Maike Diekmann, sprinters Beatrice Masilingi and Christine Mboma, marathon runners Helalia Johannes and Rainhold Tomas, swimmer Phillip Seidler, and mountain bikers Alex Miller and Michelle Vorster.
Meanwhile, it was reported over the weekend that two athletes and five Olympic workers have tested positive for the coronavirus in the Tokyo Olympic Village, further raising fears of cluster infections just days before the opening ceremony.
Japan’s NHK broadcaster said the affected people were observing a 14-day period of isolation, and have not yet relocated to the Athletes’ Village in Tokyo, where 11 000 athletes will be staying and mingling during the Games that run until 8 August 2021.