National banners hang from balconies at the Olympic Village

Credit: AP

The first Covid cases among athletes in the Olympic Village hit Tokyo on Sunday when organisers confirmed two competitors had tested positive.

The International Olympic Committee has been determined to keep the Olympic Village the “safest place” at the Games, with all athletes facing a strict daily testing regime and rigorous protocol in place to prevent mixing.

However, Sunday’s additions mean three people have now failed tests in the Village after a foreign official tested positive on Saturday.

Tokyo organisers confirmed the two athletes were from the same country and sport, but their exact details have not been released due to medical confidentiality. Testing has been conducted on other members of their group.

Anyone who tests positive in the Olympic Village is moved into a secure Covid facility on site.

Another unnamed athlete tested positive upon arrival in Tokyo – one of 10 new cases among those involved in the Olympics on Sunday. One of them was confirmed as South Korean IOC member Ryu Seung-min, who tested positive when landing in Japan.

The total number of Covid cases linked to the Tokyo Games since July 1 now stands at 55, while Tokyo recorded its highest number of Covid cases in almost six months with 1,410 new positive tests on Saturday.

Security staff guard the entrance to the Olympic Village

Credit: Reuters

Tokyo 2020 president Seiko Hashimoto says she understands concerns athletes may have before arriving in Japan.

“People coming to Japan are probably very worried – we understand that,” she said on Saturday. “That is the reason why we have to give full disclosure.

“We have to prepare thoroughly and make sure that we all follow the rules. How someone tested positive and how that person is isolated is something we should disclose.

“We have to make sure the athletes are not worried under any circumstances, so we will make sure to share information as thoroughly as possible.”

She added: “We are doing everything we can to make sure [the Olympics] is Covid secure. We are sparing no efforts.

“Whatever happens, we have to take care of it. However, we are doing everything we can to prevent any Covid outbreaks. If we end up with an outbreak, we will make sure that we have a plan in place to respond.”