‘Bolt from the blue’: Vaccinated Russian karate queen Chernysheva ruled out of Tokyo Games after positive Covid test
Chernysheva, 19, tested positive on arriving in Tokyo this week and has been sent into a mandatory 10-day quarantine at a designated hotel.
“Very sad news from Japan. Anna Chernysheva can’t compete at the Olympics. Her mandatory Covid test was positive. The control test was similarly disappointing,” announced the Russian Karate Federation.
“Anna… you and your coach Alexander Yudin have come a long way to the Games and did everything in your power.
“We understand how difficult this is for you now and we really want to support you!
"Get well soon, we are waiting for you on the tatami for bright contests and new victories!”
Tolyatti-born starlet Chernysheva was crowned European champion in the kumite 55kg earlier this year, but will be forced to miss the competition in Tokyo, where karate is making its Olympic debut.
“Her psychological condition is tough, we prepared for the Olympics for two years,” said Chernysheva’s coach Yudin.
“Everything was good. Of course we’re in shock.”
Speaking to Russian sports outlet Championat, a representative from the Russian Karate Federation said Chernysheva had been vaccinated against coronavirus back in April.
“For me it was like a bolt from the blue. All the precautions were taken – she was under strict controls.
“Anna was vaccinated back in April. We hoped that she was prepared for the situation, but unfortunately, vaccinated people also get sick.
“As for the state of her health, she's asymptomatic. She feels fine.”
It was reported that none of the other athletes who traveled on Chernysheva’s flight to Tokyo – including wrestlers and artistic gymnasts – had tested positive.
Adding to Chernysheva’s disappointment at missing out on the Tokyo Games is the fact that karate is set to be missing from the Olympic program in Paris in 2024.
The head doctor for the Russian Olympic Committee (ROC) team, Andrey Zholinsky, has said a psychologist will be on hand for Chernysheva if needed during her isolation in Tokyo.