Brazil’s Olympic athletes return to training after isolation

Brazil’s elite athletes have resumed normal training after more than four months of confinement because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Brazilian Olympic Committee (BOC) said its training centers across the country were reopened on Tuesday with strict sanitary protocols, reports Xinhua news agency.

“It’s a good time for us to come back,” open water swimmer Ana Marcela Cunha said. “I’m looking forward to the Tokyo Olympics and have a feeling of starting over to fulfil a dream. Today’s first practise was a warm-up.”

Brazilian athletes have been limited to home training regimes since mid-March, when facilities were closed and competitions suspended amid the escalating pandemic.

Those to make immediate use of the decision included gymnasts, judokas, weightlifters and divers, among others.

“We’re facing a very difficult time, but we’ll get through it,” said BOC sport manager Jorge Bichara.

“We’re going to resume training. We are going to work very hard next year so that the athletes arrive in good condition at the Tokyo Olympics and can represent Brazil.”

In March, officials postponed the 2020 Tokyo Olympics – which had been set to begin on July 24 – until July 23 to August 8 next year.