Cook Islands middle distance runner Alex Beddoes is in doubt for the Commonwealth Games after contracting Covid-19 which affected his preparations.
The top national athlete is up against time to get fully fit and ready for the 800 metres heats on August 4 in Birmingham, United Kingdom.
According to Athletics Cook Islands
secretary Ruta Mave, Beddoes was training in Germany with his Melbourne based
coach and running squad and was tracking very strongly.
“He injured his knee early on in the year
and had taken steps to get rehabilitation so he could compete at the
Commonwealth. His mind and body were strong and his two races – one booked in
Belgium and one in Manchester – looked to be good momentum building towards
Birmingham,” Mave said.
“Then two days out from his Belgium race
he contracted Covid and was bed ridden for three days and had to cancel his
race. The problem with Covid is it affects the heart and lungs and can put a
large strain on these organs, that pushing them into duress due to competition
may not be possible or healthy for an individual.
“At last report Alex was out of the worst of it, and able to exercise carefully for five minutes he is getting better and better.”
Beddoes had to have a PCR test 72 hours from entering the Commonwealth Games Village and due to the long remaining effects of Covid, it came back positive even after he has recovered and been isolated past the contagious period, Mave said.
“Alex is due to compete in his 800m heat
on August 4, he is trying to overcome the challenges presented to him to get to
the track and at the moment it looks like he could make it. We stand in support
of his commitment and drive to not give up and to do all he can to represent
his country to the best of his ability. He is a true sportsman and an
inspirational role model.”
Meanwhile national sprinter Tikove Piira
took part in the World Athletics Championships in Eugene, Oregon, United States
“Tikove had a good lead in and training on
the track the day before and was in the fourth heat with Fiji. On the day Fiji
broke with a false start and the international rules that apply to secondary
school age and up is zero tolerance, whoever breaks is automatically
disqualified. It was such a shame and all of Oceania were saddened for him as
he left the track. This however, made the second start very intense,” Mave
“Tikove got out to a good start and was
holding a strong 4th with another runner. At 15m out from the finish
he pulled up lame with a hamstring injury, it was such a shame as he ended up
finishing on his personal best time so if he had been able to hold his position
to the end he would have gained a great improvement on his time.”
He was not the only athlete to do so
during the competition and in 2004 Usain Bolt had to pull out of the Olympics
due to his hamstring injury. He did come back the following Olympics to win gold.
“We can only take the lessons learnt and
work towards Tikove next competition.
The life of an athletics athlete is they are fully accountable on the
track, it is up to them as they don’t have 10 other people on the field whom
they can blame if the score doesn’t go their way. This is when strength of
character is built and the test of commitment and drive to carry on regardless
of challenges. Tikove is a strong and focused athlete who will work even harder
to overcome this disappointment.”