Argentina clears Olympic athletes to resume training

Argentinian President Alberto Fernandez has authorised the country’s Olympic athletes to return to training after their coronavirus lockdown.

The measure allows 143 sportsmen and women who have qualified for the Tokyo Games to end their home confinement and use the facilities of their respective clubs, reports Xinhua news agency.

Fernandez said the permission would soon include athletes who have not yet qualified but remain hopeful of a place in Argentina’s squad.

“Olympic sports are very important for the country and we want our athletes to be able to train,” he told Argentinian TV channel TyC Sports. “For this reason we have been working on the protocols with (sports minister) Matias Lammens so that our representatives in Tokyo can begin their preparations.”

Among the requirements is an obligation for athletes to register on a mobile phone application that tracks their movements and provides them with the latest biosafety recommendations, the sports ministry said.

Those who have already secured a place for Argentina at the Tokyo Games are swimmers Delfina Pignatiello, Julia Sebastian and Santiago Grassi; gymnast Martina Dominici; and sailors Santiago Lange and Cecilia Carranza.

Originally scheduled for July 24 to August 9, the Tokyo Olympics were rescheduled for July 23 to August 8, 2021 because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Argentina has reported 22,000 confirmed coronavirus cases and more than 600 deaths.

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