These are the nightmare scenarios athletes dread around the Olympic Games in Tokyo – a positive COVID-19 test means you’re out. Today we learned that Belgium’s Jelle Geens, considered by many to be a medal contender after his runner-up finish at WTCS Yokohama in May and part of the winning team at the Mixed Relay Olympic Qualification race, will not be able to race on the Monday morning (Tokyo time – the men’s race takes place at 5:30 pm EST on Sunday). Geens and the Belgium team are hopefuly he’ll be eligible to compete in the Mixed Team Relay in Tokyo – that takes place on July 31.
In a message posted on his Instagram account, Geens says he “tested positive for COVID-19 about a few weeks ago.” Since that time his PCR tests have remained positive, so despite a negative test yesterday, he’s still not eligible to compete on Monday.
View this post on Instagram
If Geens remains unable to race in the relay he’ll be replaced by alternate Noah Servais.
Geens will be familiar to Canadian triathlon fans as he won the WTS Montreal event in 2019 (photo above). That year he also finished third at both the WTS Hamburg and the European Championships.