Sport Positive COVID test rules Azimeraw out of London Marathon
Fewer virus cases keep Melbourne on track
Victoria's daily infection rate is on track towards the planned easing of coronavirus restrictions come September 28, with more anti-lockdown protests expected.The state recorded 21 new cases in the 24 hours to Saturday morning, its lowest figure since June 24.
By Mitch Phillips
LONDON (Reuters) - Degitu Azimeraw, who won the Amsterdam Marathon in a course record as a 20-year-old last year, and fellow Ethiopian and top coach Haji Adelo, will be absent from Sunday's London Marathon after testing positive for COVID-19, organisers said on Tuesday.
Azimeraw, who ran a stunning 2 hours, 19.26 minutes on her debut over the distance last October, had been hoping to challenge world record holder Brigid Kosgei and fellow Kenyan Ruth Chepngetich in the women's elite-only race being held on a multi-lap, bio-secure circuit in London's St James's Park.
'Two thousand' sign up to be infected with COVID in UK vaccine trial
British volunteers are to be deliberately infected with COVID-19 to test whether a vaccine offers any protection. In the first trial of its kind, participants will be injected with an experimental vaccine and around a month later exposed to Sars-Cov-2, the virus that causes the disease.According to FT, the studies - which are known as human challenge trials - will begin in January and are government funded.It is reported that the trials will take place in a secure facility in Whitechapel, east London, and that 2,000 potential volunteers have signed up in the UK.
However, she and Adelo tested positive in Ethiopia and were unable to join the chartered flight to London. Adelo has not been in contact with his athletes Shura Kitata and Alemu Megertu in the last two weeks so they are clear to stay in the secure, secret hotel and run on Sunday, race director Hugh Brasher told a teleconference.
Amid many measures being taken to minimise any infection risk, everyone involved in the race is using "bump technology" this week, where a device worn on a pendant records time spent in proximity to others. It allows organisers to warn athletes and operational staff if they are breaching social distance guidelines.
Sunday's race, the only major Autumn marathon to go ahead after widespread coronavirus cancellations, will see separate men's, women's and wheelchair races.
Victoria records just 12 new COVID-19 cases in major step forward
Victoria has recorded just 12 new COVID-19 cases and one more death in the past 24 hours, in another major step forward for the state. The Department of Health and Human Services announced one of the lowest death tolls in months on Saturday.Metropolitan Melbourne is currently in the First Step to reopening the state - but could move to the second step soon.The Second Step is when the daily average case rate drops between 30 to 50 cases over a 14-day period.The DHHS announced this wouldn't happen before September 28.
Even though no fans will be allowed on the fenced-off course, all the races will be broadcast in full on the BBC and music and crowd noise will be played on loudspeakers along the course.
"It is the first time the wheelchair race will be shown in full, and we're really proud of that," said Brasher, whose father Chris co-founded the race in 1981.
The big draw on Sunday is the head-to-head between world record holder and four-times London winner Eliud Kipchoge of Kenya and Kenenisa Bekele of Ethiopia, the only two men to have gone under two hours, two minutes for the distance.
Brasher said that many elements of Kipchoge's sub-two hour run in Vienna, also on a multi-lap course, last October had been incorporated into Sunday's race, where the athletes will run almost 20 laps, and where, weather-dependent, a fast time is expected.
Brasher said it was probably his proudest achievement in helping stage Sunday's race, which will be held alongside a "virtual event" where 40,000 people will cover the marathon distance at a venue of their choice.
Victoria's COVID-19 crisis by the numbers
Victoria has reported 12 more cases of COVID-19 and one death, which takes the state toll to 782.VICTORIA'S COVID-19 NUMBERS FOR SEPTEMBER 25
They will be rewarded with finisher's medals as well as raising millions of pounds for charities hard-hit by the cancellation of the original marathon in April.
The mini-marathon, traditionally a low-key children's race held ahead of the main event and previously won by Mo Farah, has ballooned this year into 150,000 primary school children running 2.6 miles.
"The 40th races is very different but it is going to be remembered forever," Brasher said.
(Reporting by Mitch Phillips, editing by Christian Radnedge)
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Rise in coronavirus cases 'may be levelling off' in England, ONS data suggests .
There is "some limited evidence" that the recent sharp increase in new coronavirus cases in England is levelling off, the UK's Office for National Statistics has said. © Reuters The survey found shopping and eating out were the most commonly reported activities among people with COVID-19 in the two to seven days before symptoms began New cases of COVID-19 in England were around 8,400 per day in the latest week up to 24 September - down from around 9,600 per day during the previous week, an ONS estimate said.