•Oluoch said they will be in isolation for 10 days during which they will be unable to see one another as everyone has been isolated in different rooms.
•The Manchester qualifier was one of a series of tournaments organised by the World Para Powerlifting to provide athletes with the chance to qualify for the Tokyo Paralympics — scheduled for August 24-September 5.
Team Kenya athletes at last weekend's Manchester Para Powerlifting World Cup are in isolation after two members tested positive for coronavirus while in the English city.
Confirming the sad news, Kenya National Paralympics Committee president Agnes Oluoch said following the development, none of the athletes was able to compete at the 2020 Tokyo Paralympics qualifier event.
"When we arrived in Manchester, we were tested for the virus and that's when two of the athletes turned out positive. In accordance with contact tracing, the authorities put the entire team in isolation since we had travelled together. According to the rules of the competition, once an athlete tests positive, the entire team has to go into quarantine and cannot mingle with athletes from other countries," Oluoch said.
Oluoch said they will be in isolation for 10 days during which they will be unable to see one another as everyone has been isolated in different rooms.
"I wouldn't be able to tell the mood among the athletes because we are in different rooms and have not seen each other. However, we are always communicating on the phone. It is still a sad scenario because the team's performance has been exemplary and we were looking forward to qualifying for Tokyo," she said.
Apart from the seven athletes, the delegation included Oluoch, the team manager, a loader, coach Lena Marita and a government official.
The Manchester qualifier was one of a series of tournaments organised by the World Para Powerlifting to provide athletes with the chance to qualify for the Tokyo Paralympics — scheduled for August 24-September 5.
Oluoch said they have learnt valuable lessons from the experience and plan to implement strict Covid-19 measures in training when the athletes return home.
"When we come home, we will try to strictly follow the Covid-19 protocols while in training, especially when it comes to wearing facemasks and sanitising. Part of our plans include a bubble camp where the athletes do not interact with the outside world," Oluoch said.
She appealed for more attention and assistance to Paralympians who she said are more exposed to the risk of infection compared to other athletes.
"We need the prayers of everyone because Paralympians are a bit different from other athletes. They need assistance to move around — to fetch their crutches or when boarding a matatu. In this scenario, it is difficult not to come into contact with other people. That is why I would like to appeal for a bubble training camp for them," she said.
The next phase of qualifiers will be held in Dubai on June 19-26 during which the team will be looking to make up for the pain of missing out in Manchester.
Oluoch exuded confidence the powerlifters are still on course for qualification despite the setback.