Runner Johnson contracts Covid-19, rules himself out of Olympics


Jakarta Asian Games champion in men’s 1500 metres Jinson Johnson says his chances of making cut for the Tokyo Olympics are almost over as he is still recovering from Covid-19 at the Sports Authority of India (SAI) training centre in Bengaluru.

“I was one of the several athletes who had tested positive for Covid-19 over the last fortnight in Bengaluru. It was a big setback to my training. I’m feeling better now but am still in quarantine. I can’t go out without the advice of a medical expert,” he told IANS from Bengaluru.

In 2019, the Army’s 30-year-old middle distance runner had clocked 3 minutes 35.24 seconds, a personal best in Berlin but narrowly missed the Tokyo Olympic qualification time of 3 minutes 35 seconds.

The 2020 season was disrupted by injury and pandemic.

The international runner from Kerala had skipped last month’s Federation Cup athletics meet at Patiala as he wasn’t fit to clock a fast time.

“My aim was to give my best during the June Inter State Athletics meet in Bengaluru. I was satisfied with my training, but then fell victim to Covid-19 earlier this month,” he said.

Johnson said he had taken all precautions.

“Despite taking precautions, I tested positive for Covid-19. Life is limping back to normal but I don’t stand a good chance of earning a berth for the Tokyo Olympics,” he added.