UPDATE 1-Olympics-Japanese gymnast Uchimura tests positive for COVID-19 ahead of key meet

29 Oct 2020 / 19:15 H.

    (Updates with details, background)

    TOKYO, Oct 29 (Reuters) - Japanese gymnast Kohei Uchimura has tested positive for COVID-19 ten days before he was due to take part in an international meet seen as a major test of Tokyo's capacity to hold events ahead of next year's Olympics, organisers announced on Thursday.

    Organisers said it was unclear whether Uchimura, who is a three-time Olympic gold medallist, will be pulling out of the Nov. 8 meet that will also feature athletes from China, Russia and the United States.

    Despite a lengthy recent injury record, 31-year-old Uchimura was set to be the main attraction for the 2,000 fans allowed to watch the event at Yoyogi National Gymnasium.

    The president of the Federation Internationale de Gymnastique, Morinari Watanabe, told reporters during an online news conference on Thursday that Uchimura was asymptomatic.

    Watanabe added that all the other members of the Japanese team have so far tested negative but would be having further tests now.

    He also said that the event, the Friendship and Solidarity Competition at the Yoyogi National Gymnasium, would go ahead even if the Japanese team had to withdraw and that all the international athletes had so far tested negative.

    In an interview with Reuters earlier this week, Watanabe said he hoped this meet would open the door towards holding a successful Olympics next year. (Reporting by Elaine Lies and Jack Tarrant; Editing by Andrew Heavens and Christian Radnedge)

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