MILAN • Multiple world swimming champion Federica Pellegrini has contracted Covid-19, the Italian said in a social media post on Thursday.
The 32-year-old, who intends to take part in her fifth and final Olympic Games in Tokyo next year, was due to leave for the International Swimming League (ISL) event in Budapest but felt unwell after training on Wednesday.
“Unfortunately I have some bad news: Yesterday I stopped training because I felt pain and on the way home I also got a sore throat. So this afternoon I took a swab and I tested positive for Covid,” the 200m freestyle world record holder said in an Instagram post. “I was supposed to leave on Monday for Budapest to take part in the ISL.
“I was looking forward to getting back into the water and finally starting a normal season, even more so because I was fine and had trained well. Instead I have to stop again and in the meantime I will undergo 10 days of quarantine.”
Pellegrini won the 200m freestyle gold medal at the Beijing Olympics in 2008 and the world championship in the same event in 2009, 2011, 2017 and 2019, plus the world title in the 400m freestyle in 2009 and 2011.
She was not the only Italian world champion to have caught the virus this week – seven-time MotoGP world champion Valentino Rossi also said on Thursday that he will miss Sunday’s Grand Prix of Aragon.
The 41-year-old added he could also miss next week’s Teruel Grand Prix at the same circuit in Spain.
“Unfortunately, this morning I woke up and I was not feeling good. My bones were sore and I had a slight fever, so I immediately called the doctor who tested me twice,” said Rossi in a statement. “The quick PCR (polymerase chain reaction) test result was negative, just like the test I underwent on Tuesday. But the second one, of which the result was sent to me this afternoon, was unfortunately positive.”
Rossi, in his final season with the factory Yamaha team, had endured a tough season with three successive crashes, leaving “The Doctor” down in 13th in the world championship.
“I’d like to be optimistic and confident, but I expect the second round in Aragon to be a ‘no-go’ for me as well,” he added.
His absence is another setback for the team, after six of their technical staff missed last week’s race at Le Mans when a member tested positive.
REUTERS, AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE