Van Niek­erk’s come­back from se­ri­ous in­jury de­railed by pos­i­tive Covid-19 test

The Daily Telegraph - Business - - Sport Rugby Union -

Wayde van Niek­erk, the 400me­tres world record holder, tested pos­i­tive for Covid-19 in Italy ahead of his first com­pet­i­tive ap­pear­ance out­side South Africa since 2017.

The man­ager of the Olympic cham­pion, who has en­dured a long road back from a se­ri­ous knee in­jury three years ago, was per­plexed by the re­sult ahead of a meet­ing in Tri­este. “I don’t know how it’s pos­si­ble,” Peet van Zyl said. “He has been train­ing for the whole week and never had any symp­tom, not even af­ter test­ing pos­i­tive. He hasn’t had a fever.”

Van Niek­erk, 28, tore his right an­te­rior cru­ci­ate lig­a­ment while play­ing a char­ity touch rugby game to leave his ca­reer in doubt, and be­gan his come­back in Fe­bru­ary this year.

Bri­tain’s Jemma Reekie, mean­while, edged out train­ing part­ner Laura Muir in the 800me­tres at the Triveneto Meet­ing, with both ath­letes dip­ping in­side two min­utes.

Reekie, who set three na­tional records over the win­ter, cut al­most two sec­onds from her pre­vi­ous out­door best to clock 1min 59.52sec, two hun­dredths of a se­cond ahead of Muir. An­drew Pozzi also se­cured a Bri­tish suc­cess, with the world in­door cham­pion con­tin­u­ing his win­ning run in the 110m hur­dles af­ter set­ting his world-lead­ing time of 13.30 set in Savona two weeks ago.

In Moscow, mean­while, more than 9,500 run­ners com­peted in the city’s an­nual half-marathon.

Com­peti­tors wore masks and gloves in the start­ing area, had their tem­per­a­tures checked and were told to ob­serve so­cial-dis­tanc­ing rules be­cause of the pan­demic.

The race had been post­poned from May.

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