At 10 this morning, the biathletes’ first Olympic exercise starts with a mixed relay, where Norway on paper puts a very strong team with Marte Olsbu Røiseland, Tiril Eckhoff, Tarjei Bø and Johannes Thingnes Bø.
Eldest brother collided
But the charge for the competition has not been optimal for the Bø brothers: yesterday, elder brother Tarjei collided with Italian Samuela Comoli in a downhill run at high speed, and even said afterwards that he had pain in his neck and back.
Little brother Johannes, on the other hand, is in double close contact after sitting near two corona-infected people. First Jarl Magnus Riiber on the plane to Beijing, then Estonian Kristjan Ilves on the bus from Beijing to the practitioner village.
– Treatment of Fritz
Five hours before the start of the race, national team manager Per Arne Botnan says that the plan is still for two Bø boys to start.
– Status as of now is that the same four go. Tarjei has stood up and felt a little stiff in the back, but when he gets a little warmth in his body and treatment by Fritz (Hinteregger, masseur), he is probably in place.
– And no one in white overalls has picked up Johannes in the morning?
– No one has picked him up. He was served breakfast in the room early today, says Botnan.
Must be tested
According to the IOC’s Playbook, athletes are defined as close contacts tested twice a day, and six hours before a competition. This means that Thingnes Bø must have been tested at 11 Chinese time (04.00 Norwegian time). If this is also negative, the ironing is cleared for the start of the Olympics.
If the test result against conjecture should come when the competition has started, and should prove to be positive, Thingnes Bø will still have to complete the competition.
At least if one is to believe Per Arne Botnan.
Sturla in readiness
– As I have understood it, an athlete who during the competition is told about a positive test can finish, and then right in quarantine afterwards, he says.
– But you still risk that Thingnes Bø may end up in isolation before the start?
– I do not think he does it, says Botnan.
If the worst should still happen, Sturla Holm Lægreid is Norway’s reserve on the men’s side.
– Sturla is on standby and in training now, Botnan says.