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COVID-19: Quarantine hampers injured Olympic athletes

Self-isolation affecting athletes' ability to recover from injury, train, says gold medalist Turkish wrestler Akgul

Halil Ibrahim Avsar   | 14.04.2020
COVID-19: Quarantine hampers injured Olympic athletes

ANKARA

The COVID-19 quarantine has affected the ability of athletes to recover from injuries, a Turkish Olympic gold medalist wrestler told Anadolu Agency on Tuesday.

Taha Akgul, 29, said he is at home because of the pandemic and is unable to complete his rehabilitation.

The winner of the 125 kg freestyle in the 2016 Rio Games underwent surgery late December because of a shoulder injury.

"In this process I was going out for treatment. And it was left half finished. But I am doing [shoulder] exercises at home," he said but acknowledged it is not enough as the sport requires physical contact.

"We always have to do wrestling and technique drills. In this period we lack them. So this affects us negatively," said Akgul. "This [lockdown] process will have negative impacts on the athletes' performance. Because, Olympians should train at least for four or five hours in a day."

He does weight training in a private room in his house and encouraged athletes to be disciplined and maintain good shape because there will be competitions once the coronavirus pandemic ends.

Akgul said he reads books, watches movies and studies English, in addition to workouts, during his spare time.

After originating in Wuhan, China last December, the virus has spread to at least 185 countries and regions across the world, with Europe and the U.S. now being the worst-hit regions.

The virus has infected more than 1.93 million worldwide, nearly 121,000 deaths and almost 465,000 patients have recovered, according to data compiled by the U.S.-based Johns Hopkins University.

Turkey reported 1,296 deaths from the virus, with more than 61,000 confirmed cases.

*Writing by Can Erozden

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