Hungarian Swimming Braced For More Corona Infections As “15 National Teamsters” Test Positive

KAPAS Boglarka HUN Gold Medal 200m Butterfly Women Final Glasgow 06/08/2018 Swimming Tollcross International Swimming Centre LEN European Aquatics Championships 2018 European Championships 2018 Photo Giorgio Scala/ Deepbluemedia /Insidefoto

Hungarian swimming is bracing itself for more positive coronavirus-COVID-19 tests after Boglarka Kapas, Dominik Kozma, David Horvath and Richard Bohus tested positive following training camps with teammates.

The Hungarian swimming federation arranged virus checks for all members of the national squad wishing to continue to have access to pools, at home or on overseas camps. Kapas and Kozma had been on training camps overseas, Kapas in Thailand, Kozma and Bohus in Turkey.

Five others cases are yet to be named, while Kozma told national media that swimmers were tested four days apart and “dozens” who returned a negative test on the first date subsequently tested positive on the second date with testers.

A source close to Hungarian swimming said that there were thought to be 15 positives among Hungarian swimmers.

The swimmers have not shown symptoms of COVID-19 but they could develop them, while the importance of placing them in quarantine is clear: even if they do not become ill themselves, they can still infect others.

The virus has an incubation period of up to 14 days. The swimmers have all been home in Hungary since March 13.

It is understood that large numbers of national team members were on the camps in South Africa, Turkey and Thailand just as pools were starting to be shut down in many parts of the world. Some of the Hungarian swimmers have yet to hear back from testers.

One of those is all-round ace Peter Bernek, who told the NS (National Sport) website:

“I have informed the Hungarian Swimming Federation that I want the opinion of an epidemiologist, since two of my clubmates have tested positive and I roomed with Richard Bohus (on camp). I’m fine, but I’m waiting to know more.”

Bohus, a member of the Hungarian 4x100m free relay that claimed bronze at the home 2017 World Championships in Budapest, told NS that he was feeling the impact of the virus:

“After running eight hundred metres last week, I felt like I was at the end of a three-hour workout. I didn’t understand why I had muscle fever after moving home, and I told my coach that I was definitely coronavirus positive. Then the test proved it! Anyhow, I have no other symptoms, I feel good.”

Bohus’s roommate on camp in Erzurum was Bernek but it is possible that Bohus became infected on the journey home, when he was not in the company of Bernek.

Swimming World has been told that triple Olympic champion Katinka Hosszu was not among those training overseas.

Kapas, reigning World 200m butterfly champion and 2016 Olympic 800m freestyle bronze medallist, and Kozma, a medallist for Hungary in relays and over 200m freestyle at global and European levels, both took to social media to announce their positive tests.

Horvath, who won silver with the Hungary 4x50m medley relay at the European Short-Course Championships in Glasgow in December 2019, was next to be announced as having tested positive.

It will be up to each individual swimmer to decide whether they wish to reveal the result of any COVID-19 testing, Swimming World understands.

Closed training sessions and camps arranged through the Hungarian swimming federation for National Team swimmers required two ‘negative’ COVID19 tests taken four days apart from all concerned.

Swimmers must also sign an agreement in which they have to confirm that they are confined to home – when home in Hungary – or hotel/other accommodation on overseas camps.

Testing was carried out by a private clinic hired by the Hungarian swimming federation.

The Warning For Swimmers From Cameron Van Der Burgh

A week ago, Cameron van der Burgh, the South African Olympic 100m breaststroke champion of London 2012, revealed that he had been battling COVID-19 infection and issued the following warning – before the new dates for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games had been announced – about the potential  impact on fit athletes:

“Although the most severe symptoms(extreme fever) have eased, I am still struggling with serious fatigue and a residual cough that I can’t shake. Any physical activity like walking leaves me exhausted for hours. The loss in body conditioning has been immense and can only feel for the athletes that contract Covid-19 as they will suffer a great loss of current conditioning through the last training cycle. Infection closer to competition being the worst.

“Athletes will continue to train as there is no clarification re summer Games and thus are exposing themselves to unnecessary risk – and those that do contract will try rush back to training most likely enhancing/extending the damage/recovery time.

“Please, look after yourself everyone! Health comes first – COVID-19 is no joke!”

1 comment

  1. Shirley Mireault

    I read comments earlier this month that they were still training at a location together…in snall groups.. when all the rest of our swimmers worldwide were…why is anyone surprised?