The scheduled return of South Korean Olympic athletes to the national training center has been postponed indefinitely in light of a recent spike in new coronavirus cases.
The Korean Sport & Olympic Committee said Thursday that the first batch of athletes and coaches who had been set to report back to the Jincheon National Training Center next week will have to wait.
They had cleared out of the training center in March, after the 2020 Tokyo Olympics was postponed by one year due to the coronavirus pandemic. The KSOC sent some 500 athletes and coaches home to recharge -- they had been holed up inside the national center for months on end -- and then sanitized Jincheon gyms and residence buildings.
Buoyed by a steady decline in COVID-19 cases last month, the KSOC said on April 27 that the athletes would return by May 12. The plan was thrown off track last weekend, as the country saw a surge in cases connected to clubs and bars in Seoul's multicultural district of Itaewon.
The KSOC first moved that date by a week to next Tuesday, but then decided Thursday to put the plan on hold.
Athletes must first undergo COVID-19 tests before returning to Jincheon, whenever that may be. (Yonhap)