Three members of the South African contingent have become the first set of competitors to test positive to COVID-19 in the athletes’ village in Tokyo, five days before the start of the Olympic Games.
The three, two of whom are athletes, and the last, a video analyst, have immediately been taken into isolation.
South Africa’s Football Association confirmed Thabiso Monyane and Kamohelo Mahlatsi as their positive cases.
Mario Masha, the South Africa football team’s video analyst, also tested positive on Saturday.
“We have three positive cases of COVID-19 in the camp here, two players and an official,” said South Africa team manager, Mxolisi Sibam.
“There is daily screening which included taking temperature and saliva testing. Masha and Monyane reported high temperatures and positive saliva tests and were then taken to do the nasal test, which we all had initially taken – and they, unfortunately, tested positive to COVID through that test. Mahlatsi is the latest player to go through the same process.”
Monyane, a right-back with Orlando Pirates in his homeland, posted on social media when the team arrived in Tokyo.
South Africa Sevens Rugby coach, Neil Powell, also tested positive on Sunday on arrival in Japan and is now isolating in Kagoshima, where the squad is based for a pre-Games training camp.
Organisers say 21 South African players and officials have been identified as close contacts.
Meanwhile, six athletes and two staff members from Team Great Britain’s athletics team are self-isolating after being identified as close contacts of an individual who tested positive after their arrival in Tokyo on 16 July.
They are confined to their rooms in the Olympic village with all of their meals delivered to the door, and they must take daily PCR tests.
All the results on Sunday were negative and as long as that continues, the squad will be allowed to train in a bubble as they prepare for their match against Japan on Thursday.