Gymnastics - Russia coach urges team to stay in shape under quarantine

Coach of gymnastics Russian Olympic team Valentina Rodionenko attends a training session at the Ozero Krugloe (Round Lake) training centre outside Moscow, Russia, July 21, 2016. REUTERS/Sergei Karpukhin

LONDON (Reuters) - The main concern for the coach of Russia’s women’s gymnastics team is that they do not gain weight in quarantine at home, she said after the squad’s training camp was cancelled this week due to concerns over the COVID-19 pandemic.

All activities at the Novogorsk training centre in Moscow were halted this week after local media reported that men’s team coach Andrey Rodionenko and one of his team members had tested positive for the coronavirus.

Women’s team coach Valentina Rodionenko, Andrey’s wife, told TASS media on Friday that her husband had taken a subsequent test which came back negative.

All team members based at the training centre have been sent into self-isolation, like many across the globe. However, Valentina Rodionenko’s main concern is that the temptation to indulge in home comforts will not become overwhelming for her athletes.

“We will be home in quarantine until April 15. The main thing is that the girls don’t gain any weight. That’s the main problem. They have all received homework...,” the 83-year-old said.

Almost all gymnastics events or World Cups this season have been postponed or cancelled, with the Olympic Games in Tokyo also having been moved to 2021.

President Vladimir Putin on Thursday prolonged until April 30 a paid non-working period across Russia in a move he said was designed to stem the spread of coronavirus.

Russia, which has reported 4,149 cases and 34 deaths, has already imposed a partial lockdown on many regions, including the capital Moscow, which has become the epicentre of the country’s outbreak.

Reporting by Christian Radnedge in London; Additional reporting by Gabrielle Tetrault-Farber in Moscow; Editing by Toby Davis