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Singapore table tennis player was in Olympics interview with Japanese cameraman who tested positive for COVID-19

Singapore table tennis player was in Olympics interview with Japanese cameraman who tested positive for COVID-19

Team Singapore's training facilities in Shimada City, Japan. (Photo: Shimada City)

SINGAPORE: A Singapore table tennis player and team manager were involved in a pre-Olympics interview attended by a Japanese cameraman who later tested positive for COVID-19.

The national team left for Japan on Jun 27 and has been based in Shimada City in Shizuoka prefecture as it prepares for the Tokyo Olympics.

The interview involving the Japanese cameraman took place on Jun 29.

In response to CNA’s queries on Saturday (Jul 3), the Singapore Table Tennis Association’s (STTA) senior high performance manager Eddy Tay said: “One of our athletes and I were interviewed by the Japanese media at a media conference organised by the Shimada city authorities on Jun 29.

“We were informed that one of the Japanese cameramen at the conference was tested positive for COVID-19 thereafter.”

STTA did not name the Singapore player.

READ: 'Strict' rules at training camp in Japan but excitement builds as Singapore table tennis team counts down to Olympics

Mr Tay said that during the interviews, they kept a physical distance of at least 3m from the media and wore masks throughout.

“The rest of the team had no interaction with the media and were situated 10m away,” he added. “Our entire team is subjected to daily COVID-19 tests and have tested negative so far."

READ: No specific medal target for Singapore’s table tennis team at Olympics, but expectations remain ‘high’: STTA

According to Asahi Shimbun, the Singapore table tennis team has requested not to accept interviews following the COVID-19 case.

The report said that the affected Japanese cameraman is in his 30s and did not have symptoms at the time of the interview.

He was also not considered a close contact of the players as he was involved in the filming for a short period of time, was wearing a mask and kept a distance away, said the report.

READ: Tokyo's new COVID-19 infections hit highest in 5 weeks

The Tokyo Olympics, postponed for a year because of the pandemic, is scheduled to start on Jul 23.

Singapore will be represented by Feng Tianwei, Yu Mengyu and Lin Ye in the women’s table tennis team event. Clarence Chew is Singapore’s sole representative in the men’s competition.

STTA’s Mr Tay said the team follows a strict hygiene protocol.

“We are practising social distancing measures and follow a strict hygiene protocol, and constantly monitor our health to ensure that the team is safe,” he said.

“We thank everyone for their support and their concerns and will continue to comply with the protocols in place.”

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Source: CNA/gs

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