(Adds quotes, statement from Dutch Olympic committee)
TOKYO, July 24 (Reuters) - Dutch rower Finn Florijn Olympic dream was shattered after the young rower tested positive for COVID-19 on Friday after competing in the men’s single sculls race.
The 21-year-old had finished in fourth in the sixth heat of the men’s single sculls race earlier on Friday, which was not enough to progress to the quarter-finals as only the top three qualify directly.
“I wasn’t completely satisfied with my race, but I was hopeful to do better in the rematch,” said Florijn, whose father was also an Olympic rower.
“Now it’s over in an instant. I really can’t say much more about it.”
Florijn was scheduled to take part in the repechage race on Saturday, which gives competitors another chance to qualify. But he has gone into quarantine and will no longer participate in the Games.
His case comes after a staff member of the Dutch rowing team, as well as two other Dutch athletes - taekwondo competitor Reshmie Oogink and skateboarder Candy Jacobs - also tested positive for COVID-19 earlier in the week.
Pieter van den Hoogenband, chef de mission of the Dutch Olympic delegation, said they were doing everything to avoid positive COVID-19 tests.
“Unfortunately, a new infection. It’s obvious that we don’t have any words for this,” Van den Hoogenband said in a statement.
“A young athlete who was making his Olympic debut here and has to put an end to it immediately.”
The infected athletes and staff member were all on the same flight that took Dutch athletes to Tokyo on July 17, TeamNL said in the statement, adding that chances of new infections from that flight had decreased considerably as a week has passed since the flight.
Before testing positive on Friday, Florijn had been staying in a room by himself in the Olympic village, it added.
Reporting by Daniel Leussink; editing by Pritha Sarkar and Stephen Coates
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