COVID-19 outbreak threatening Australia's Olympic swimmers

2021-06-07 11:35:57 GMT2021-06-07 19:35:57(Beijing Time) Xinhua English

SYDNEY, June 7 (Xinhua) -- An updated post from Swimming Australia on Monday implied that it was almost impossible for all swimmers based on the state of Victoria to attend the Olympic Swimming Trials for qualifying.

While Swimming Australia's funded athletes were told to leave Victoria ahead of the state's fourth lockdown, second tier swimmers were left behind.

In line with the current restrictions, travellers arriving from Victoria are not permitted to enter the state of South Australia, placing in doubt their ability to feature at next week's qualifying event.

Although there are processes in place to apply for an exemption as an essential traveller to enter South Australia, these are difficult to obtain.

Even if approved, there will be an initial five-day isolation period and a further exemption seeking permission to attend the Australian Swimming Trials as the applicant would be within the mandatory 14-day self-quarantine period, according to the statement.

According to Australian media reports, several elite swimmers, including Olympic champion Mack Horton, had already been told to leave Victoria and had been preparing for selection in Queensland, which made the current situation controversial.

"Swimming Australia had failed to communicate about the need for athletes to flee Victoria in order to be able to attend the trials. They look after their A-grade athletes, protecting their assets," said report by the Herald Sun.

"The Victorian swimmers left behind have set up a training bubble and have applied to the South Australian government for an exemption, but are unlikely to eventuate."

This year's trials will begin in Adelaide on Saturday, just six weeks before the start of competition in Tokyo, and the trials are the last chance for Australian athletes to make the Tokyo team. Enditem

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