Aussie world champion Kelsey-Lee Barber has tested positive for Covid-19 and her Commonwealth Games campaign now hangs by a thread.

The 30-year-old javelin champion tested positive following a routine test, the Australian team has confirmed.

Stream Over 50 Sports Live & On-Demand with Kayo. New to Kayo? Try 14-Days Free Now >

She is now set to become a high-profile guinea pig for the Commonwealth Games’ controversial Covid-19 restrictions.

Athletics Australia had advised Barber is asymptomatic and is still expected to compete.

Barber would have been ruled out instantly if the Commonwealth Games were operating with the same Covid rules as the Tokyo Olympics last year.

The Commonwealth Games Authority confirmed this week that each individual nation will be responsible for policing its own athletes surrounding Covid-19 infections.

It essentially means the Aussie team and its chief medical officials face the difficult decision of banning Barber from competing if her test results show she has a high likelihood of infecting others through her participation.

Barber is the first of the 433 Australian athletes to test positive in Birmingham.

Her hopes of competing during the 2022 Games are helped by the women’s javelin being scheduled for the final day of athletics competition on August 7.

Barber last week won gold at the world athletics championship in Oregon, becoming the first woman to ever defend a javelin world title.

She was the red-hot favourite heading into the Birmingham Games after her season’s best throw at the world championships last week.

Barber has previously won silver at the 2018 Commonwealth Games and bronze in 2014.

While Covid restrictions aren’t as strict in Birmingham as they were for last year’s bio-secure bubble in Tokyo, a host of recommendations have still been put in place. They include many of the rules we’ve become accustomed to over the past couple of years: social distancing, maintaining personal hygiene and wearing masks on public transport.

Australian team members have been hit with extra rules, with athletes unable to cheer on teammates at other sports.

Australian Commonwealth Games Chef de Mission Petria Thomas said tougher restrictions were necessary for those in green and gold to prioritise their performances.

“Our primary focus is that we can get our athletes to the starting line and they are performance ready,” Thomas told News Corp this month.

“The only time our team members will be able to remove their masks is when they are either by themselves, such as walking outside or in their room.

“We have to put these measures in place to minimise the transmission of Covid and other diseases as well.

“They will be permitted to stay with their team and support their team, but there won’t be an opportunity to go and watch other events because unfortunately those seats will be in public spectating areas, which presents a very high risk of Covid-19 transmission.

“Some of these decisions that we are putting in place, they have been hard decisions, because as a former athlete I certainly know one of the great things about the multi-sport games is that interaction with other countries and fellow Australian team members and being able to get out and support and watch other sports.

“But it just places too much risk for transmission, which is going to affect the performance of the team.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.