39-year old Ken Terauchi has become the first qualified member of the 2020 Japanese Olympic Team to test positive for the novel coronavirus. He is being treated in a hospital after undergoing a positive test on Friday, his sponsor announced on Monday.
Terauchi began experiencing symptoms on July 25. 2 days later, he recorded a fever. After learning that an acquaintance with whom he had met on July 24 tested positive for the virus, he went to have a PCR test done.
So far his symptoms are fever and a loss of his sense of taste and smell – common symptoms of the coronavirus-caused COVID-19.
He is the first known member of the Japanese Olympic Team to have tested positive. Athletes and staff with whom he trains at a rented pool in Osaka will all undergo testing as well, though so far none have reported any symptoms.
Terauchi has represented Japan internationally for almost 25 years, competing in 5 prior Olympic Games (1996, 2000, 2004, 2008, and 2016). His best Olympic result came at the 2000 Games in Sydney, where he finished 5th on the 10-meter platform.
He retired for a period in 2009, taking a job with Mizuno, but a year later came out of retirement and earned a qualifying berth for the 2012 Games. Japan decided not to send him in spite of the qualification.
His top global result came at the 2001 World Championships, where he earned a bronze medal in the 3-meter springboard event. He also has 3 Asian Games bronze medals, including one in the 3-meter synchro event at the most recent edition in 2018.
Terauchi and his diving partner Sho Sakai became the first Japanese athletes to qualify for the Tokyo Olympics when they placed 7th in the men’s 3-meter synchro event at the 2019 World Championships in Gwangju, South Korea last year.
The postitive test comes as Japan sees an increase in new daily positive tests with 955 confirmed cases on Monday, including 258 in Tokyo. Terauchi’s first symptoms came on what would have been the 2nd day of the 2020 Olympic Games before they were rescheduled for 2021 because of the global coronavirus pandemic.