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Coach on Philippine delegation in isolation in Tokyo, to be sent home to Manila

A coach of the Philippine delegation is now in isolation after yielding conflicting COVID-19 results over a stretch of several days, revealed Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) President Abraham "Bambol" Tolentino Thursday morning.

Whether the coach tests positive or not in the fourth confirmatory test, the said coach will be sent home after completing isolation. Tolentino added that the said coach is asymptomatic.

"Yes, there will be confirmatory tests again and we decided after the results, be it negative or positive, we have to sacrifice and let (the coach) go back home. Send (the coach) home," the POC president told ESPN5's Paolo del Rosario, who is in Tokyo.

Contact tracing is now underway and is expected to yield negative results, but training for two sports has been halted as precaution, according to Tolentino.

In a separate impromptu news conference with other Filipino journalists at the Hotel Conrad, Tolentino mentioned that the coach tested negative twice in RT-PCR tests taken at Narita Airport.

"The coach must have gotten it on the plane or at the airport. (There was an) incubation period, that's why it didn't show up at first," explained Tolentino.

Morale of Team Philippines, in general, is not expected to be affected by the latest snag.

"Maybe, to the national sports association involved, they are affected because they lost a coach, but to the rest of the Team Philippines, I don't see their morale going down because of this. Everyone is in high spirits and raring to go to battle for the country," shared the Cavite congressman.

Meanwhile, 16 of the 19 Filipino Olympians have already arrived in Japan, with golfers Bianca Pagdanganan and Juvic Pagunsan and pole vaulter EJ Obiena soon to follow.

Obiena will attempt to clear for the first time on July 31, while Pagunsan will have his first swing on July 29. Pagdanganan and Yuka Saso, on the other hand, will swing for the first time on August 4.