First Olympic beach volleyball match canceled due to COVID

Japan 2020

The sand is empty during first women’s beach volleyball match of the 2020 Summer Olympics between Japan and Czech Republic after it was canceled, Saturday, July 24, 2021, in Tokyo, Japan. The Czech team says beach volleyball player Markéta Sluková has entered a quarantine hotel after testing positive for COVID-19. (AP Photo/Felipe Dana)

TOKYO (AP) – The very first match of the Olympic beach volleyball tournament has been canceled because a Czech player tested positive for COVID-19.

Markéta Sluková tested positive earlier this week, knocking her and partner Barbora Hermannova out of the Tokyo Games.

The Czechs were supposed to be playing a team from the host country that would have been making its Olympic debut. Instead, the Japanese pair of Megumi Murakami and Miki Ishii earned the victory by default.

Sluková is one of at least three members of the Czech team who have tested positive since their arrival in Japan, including men’s beach volleyball player Ondřej Perušič.

The team has said it’s investigating if the outbreak of COVID-19 is linked to its charter flight to Tokyo.

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