Thai karate team infected after returning from Kazakhstan


Nineteen Thai karate athletes who returned from the 2021 Championships in Kazakhstan were infected with Covid-19.

Thai coach Yanisa Torrattanawathana revealed on Tuesday that athletes, staff, the president of the Karate Sports Association of Thailand, General Surachart Jitjaeng, and association secretary Praparnpongs Pochanasomburana, who were all infected, are currently in isolation in Thailand after returning from competing in the AKF Senior and Cadet, Junior and U21 Championships.

However, there were no worrying symptoms and they are currently under symptomatic treatment.

She said all athletes had been vaccinated before the tournament.

Yanisa pointedly blamed the hosts for the infections.

She said the Asian Karatedo Federation was “careless” in their management of the competition.

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The tournament was ten days long but the athletes were tested via ATK only once, when they arrived.

Meanwhile, the venue was not well-ventilated. The room for training and warming up was small and athletes couldn’t maintain a proper social distance from one another.

Yanisa speculated that the disease spread during the competition.

Moreover, the hosts let everyone head easily back to their home countries.

The teams from Japan and Kuwait have also reportedly been infected.

The Thai team are now waiting to see if they are infected with the Omicron variant.

They can at least take consolation from the fact that they fared well at the competition. They bagged one gold medal, courtesy of Siwakorn Muekthong, in the U21 Kumite Male under-60kg category, and two silver medals, thanks to Irinlada Sriargardkraisang in the Junior Kata Female category and Penpisut Namkhao in the U21 Kumite Female under-55kg category. Meanwhile, Kewalin Songklin won bronze in the Senior Kumite Female +68kg category.