Olympic doctor: Beijing games likely over for Kristjan Ilves

Estonia's winter olympics team doctor Mihkel Mardna.
Estonia's winter olympics team doctor Mihkel Mardna. Source: ERR

Estonian Nordic combined skier Kristjan Ilves' Beijing are most likely over before they have begun following a positive Covid test, the Estonian olympic team doctor says.

Ilves has returned positive on three successive Covid tests and is currently in a quarantine hotel in Zhangjiakou, to the north of Beijing. While testing negative on two successive tests would clear him for competition, there is not likely to be enough time for this, team doctor Mihkel Mardna says.

"The first events take place on February 9 and the next on February 15 - so there is not too much time there," Mardna said.

"There's not much hope that the analytical readings will transform into negative," Mardna added.

Ilves tested positive when arriving in Beijing and then tested positive twice more, resulting in his quarantine, though Ilves, who finished second in a world cup stage in Germany last month, reportedly presented with no symptoms.

Mardna said that he: "Had not personally talked to Kristjan, but he has no symptoms and he feels fine."

"This world has become so peculiar - outwardly healthy people have been deemed as sick and infectious under this analysis. Unfortunately, the rules must be followed. Sadly, for an athlete who has dedicated four years or more of his life to preparing for the Olympics, this time it is over," Mardna went on.

Ilves' Cycle Threshold (CT) readings on Wednesday's tests were, additionally, worse than they had been on the earlier test, meaning that the indicators are he is developing a full viral infection, Mardna said.

Ilves is the third Estonian winter olympics team member to have tested positive, along with biathlete Susan Külm and ski coach Riho Roosipõld, both of whom are also in quarantine.

The XXIV Winter Olympics in Beijing run from Friday, February 4 to Sunday, February 20.

Kristjan Ilves, 25, first took part in the winter olympics when they were held in Sochi in 2014, where he placed 41st in the normal hill Nordic combined event, and 34th in the large hill event.

As of March 2021, his best showing at the World Championships was 8th in the 2021 team sprint and his best individual finish was 11th, in the large hill event at the same competition.


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Editor: Andrew Whyte

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