Two-time epee fencing European champion Erika Kirpu is not afraid of the novel coronavirus despite living in Northern Italy, the flash point of the pandemic.
"If you follow all precautionary measures, there is no reason to worry," the Milan-based fencer said to ERR's online news in Russian. "Me and my partner stay at home at all times. We train indoors or in the garden and only leave the house if absolutely necessary so there is nowhere to catch the virus."
Kirpu has not been tested for the new coronavirus. "If you are asymptomatic the test costs €300. I see no need for that. I haven't had close contact with anyone for a while, I don't go outside and I feel great," she said.
It is difficult to continue with regular training under quarantine conditions, according to Kirpu. "Professional sport is work as any other in Italy and even though working under quarantine is not prohibited, it is difficult to train as the sports halls are closed. Me and my partner are both fencers, we can help each other at home, but this cannot last long."
Kirpu, who won team gold at the 2013 and the 2016 European Fencing Championships and is the 2014 World Championships bronze medalist, hopes that Tokyo 2020 Olympics will not be cancelled. The Estonian women's epee team is still in the running for a spot at the Games.
"If the situation improves during the next four weeks it might still be possible to hold the Games this year. Postponing the Olympics by a year or two would be wrong, however, because it is a long time in sports," she said.
"I liked the statement of the president of the IOC Thomas Bach, who said the 'Olympic flame will be a light at the end of this tunnel'. His words really touched my heart. We should stick together now more than ever," Kirpu added.
Editor: Anders Nõmm