Ukrainian national biathlon team may replace captain after COVID diagnosis prior to Winter Olympics

3 February 2022, 08:43 PM

Ukrainian biathlete Anastasiya Merkushyna may take over as team captain for Ukraine’s national Olympic biathlon team, the National Olympic Committee of Ukraine said on its official website on Feb. 2, as Olena Bilosiuk, the usual team captain, has tested positive for COVID-19.

Merkushyna, who joined the team for the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing, China, as a substitute, may soon fulfill her role in taking the reins from Bilosiuk.

Bilosiuk is currently in self-isolation, undergoing daily testing and has ongoing support from the team doctor, but will only be allowed to rejoin if she tests negative twice in a row. Otherwise, Merkushyna will substitute for her at the competition.

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The coaching council for the Ukrainian national biathlon team will make the final decision on the competitors in Beijing, taking into account Bilosiuk’s health condition.

The Beijing Olympic Games will be held from Feb. 4 to Feb. 20. Beijing is set to host over 3,000 athletes competing for 109 awards across 15 sports.

At the 2022 Winter Olympics in China, Ukraine will be represented by 45 athletes who will compete in 12 disciplines, including Biathlon and Freestyle.

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