ZHANGJIAKOU, China (Reuters) -Norway’s double Olympic cross-county ski champion Simen Krueger has tested negative for COVID-19, giving him a chance to make it to the Beijing Games, and Nordic Combined medal hope Jarl Magnus Riiber may also compete, Norwegian officials have said.
Krueger is still in Seiser Alm, Italy, after testing positive for the coronavirus following his team’s final training camp almost two weeks ago.
“I need four negative tests before I can travel. I have a hope that I can travel on Friday (Feb. 11),” Krueger told state broadcaster NRK.
Norway ski team coach Eirik Myhr Nossum confirmed to newspaper Verdens Gang (VG) on Sunday that Krueger had already tested negative once.
The 28-year-old missed Sunday’s 30 km skiathlon, an event in which he won gold in 2018, and it is unlikely that he will arrive in time for Friday’s 15 km classic race.
His most likely chances to race should he manage to pass the required tests are Sunday’s 4×10 km relay, in which he and Norway are reigning Olympic champions, and the 50 km mass start event that closes the men’s cross-country programme on Saturday Feb. 19.
On Monday, team manager Ivar Stuan said that Riiber, who is currently second in the World Cup standings, might yet make it out of isolation after a positive COVID-19 test in time for the Large Hill event on Feb. 15, depending on quarantine regulations.
“Today was a little bit more optimistic, but there are also some rules we still haven’t fully understood on how he gets out of there,” Stuan told reporters.
“I think his situation is still a little bit unclear, but I think he’s cautiously optimistic that something is still possible.”
(Editing by Himani Sarkar and Jacqueline Wong)