Portuguese surfer Frederico Morais tests positive for COVID

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FILE - In this Tuesday, June 15, 2021 file photo, Portuguese surfer Frederico Morais practices for a World Surf League competition at Surf Ranch, in Lemoore, Calif. Portugal's Olympic team says that surfer Frederico Morais will miss the Games after having tested positive for the coronavirus despite being vaccinated. The team says that Morais wont travel to Tokyo on Friday, July 23, 2021 as planned. The 29-year-old Morais qualified for the Games after finishing as the top-ranked European surfer at the 2019 World Surfing Games held in Japan. (AP Photo/Noah Berger, File)

TOKYO – Portuguese surfer Frederico Morais has announced that he tested positive for COVID-19 and will miss the sport’s Olympic debut in Japan.

Morais, 29, issued a statement on social media Friday evening.

“This is likely the saddest video I’ve ever had to post. In 2019 I qualified for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics that were postponed because of COVID-19. And now, because of the virus I won’t be able to compete nor represent my country,” he said in an Instagram video.

The Portuguese Olympic team said Morais would not travel to Tokyo as planned.

“I was very careful. I have been fully vaccinated for over a month, but I ended up contracting the virus,” Morais said in a statement issued through Portugal's Olympic team. “I feel fine and I will carry out my isolation. I will be following every second of our team.”

The International Surfing Association had no immediate comment but its deadline to register alternates is Saturday at 3 p.m. Morais is considered to be the best European surfer in the Tokyo Games.

The eight-day shortboard surfing competition period begins Sunday at Tsurigasaki beach.


Joseph Wilson in Barcelona, Spain, contributed to this report.

Follow Sally Ho on Twitter at http://twitter.com/_sallyho.

More AP Olympics: https://apnews.com/hub/2020-tokyo-olympics