2020 Tokyo Bronze Medalist in the men’s 100 butterfly Noe Ponti has announced via Instagram that he has tested positive for COVID-19. Ponti recently competed at the 2022 World Championships in Budapest.
“After the adventure of the World Championships in Budapest, I arrived home very tired on Sunday night. Monday morning when I woke up, I found myself with a sore throat and some fever. I ended up testing positive for COVID and therefore I have to take a forced break from training. However, I am quite well now and hope to return to the pool soon, given the short time until the European Championships in Rome. Let us all look forward with positivity…”
Ponti has a tight schedule between now and the European Championships as those are scheduled to begin in 43 days in Rome. This means that there is not a ton of time to recover. As seen with the World Championships with athletes like Lilly King and Duncan Scott, it can take some adjusting to high-intensity swimming again after a COVID-19 diagnosis.
At the 2022 World Championships, Ponti competed in the 50, 100, and 200 butterflies. He finished fourth in the 200 butterfly (1:54.29), eighth in the 100 butterfly (51.51), and 13th in the 50 butterfly (23.29).
Not many masks were seen in the arena of the World Championships. FINA’s protocols for COVID-19 allowed for masks to be optional after showing a negative PCR and antigen test upon arrival. FINA also did not require isolation for close contacts, as long as those close contacts were vaccinated. FINA did not require vaccines for credentialing and these rules apply only to credentialed individuals such as coaches and athletes. These rules did not apply to spectators.