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Beijing Olympics: Polish medal hope Natalia Maliszewska tests positive for COVID-19

30.01.2022 11:00
Short-track speed skater Natalia Maliszewska, one of Poland's Olympic medal hopes, has tested positive for COVID-19 ahead of the Beijing Winter Games, officials announced on Sunday. 
Natalia Maliszewska
Natalia Maliszewska PAP/Adam Warżawa

The news came after the Polish Olympic Committee said two days earlier that seven members of the Polish team, including three speed skaters, were found to be infected with the coronavirus after arriving in China. 

One of those testing positive at the time was long-track speed skater Natalia Czerwonka, who had been chosen to be one of Team Poland’s two flag bearers during the opening ceremony for the Games on February 4, the state PAP news agency reported. 

In addition, two other speed skaters, Magdalena Czyszczoń and Marek Kania, as well as two officials, a physician and a biathlon technician returned positive tests, the Polish Olympic Committee said.

Forty-five of Team Poland's 57 athletes arrived in the Chinese capital on Thursday afternoon local time. After undergoing COVID-19 tests at the airport, they were transferred to the Olympic village, the team’s press officer, Jerzy Jakobsche, told reporters. 

Meanwhile, speed skaters Karolina Bosiek and Damian Żurek had missed the flight after testing positive for the coronavirus before departure from Warsaw on Wednesday, the PAP news agency reported.

The Beijing Olympics take place between February 4 and 20. Maliszewska is due to compete in the women’s 500 metres on February 5.

Poland has so far won 22 medals at the winter Olympics, seven gold, seven silver, and eight bronze.

The Beijing Games will be held under strict safety protocols due to the COVID-19 pandemic.


Source: PAP