World karate champ Kiyuna tests positive for Covid-19

World karate champion, Olympic gold medal favourite Ryo Kiyuna tests positive for Covid-19

Kiyuna won a ninth consecutive Japan national championship last Sunday before returning to his native the following day and contracting the virus on Tuesday or later

Ryo Kiyuna. Credit: Wikimedia Commons

World champion Ryo Kiyuna, one of the favourites to win men's kata gold when karate makes its Olympic debut at the Tokyo Games, has Covid-19, the Japan Karatedo Federation said.

Kiyuna won a record ninth consecutive Japan national championship last Sunday in Tokyo before returning to his native Okinawa Prefecture the following day and contracting the virus on Tuesday or later, the federation and local reports said.

"As of Saturday, there are no reports of fever and other symptoms reported by 30 competitors -- excluding Kiyuna -- who participated the All Japan competition on Sunday, December 13," the federation said on its website, adding it was checking the health of other members and coaches.

All 12 people who had close contact with Kiyuna will undergo Covid tests on Monday, it said.

The 30-year-old three-time world champion had a slight fever on Friday morning, Kyodo News reported, citing his coach Tsuguo Sakumoto, adding that Kiyuna was now recovering at home without severe symptoms and has regained his appetite.

Competitors in the kata discipline are scored on how well they perform choreographed sequences of karate techniques.