Croatian Water Polo Player Tests Positive for COVID-19, Ending National Team Camp

23-07-2017: Waterpolo: Servie v Kroatie: Boedapest (L-R) during the waterpolomatch between men Serbia and Croatia at the 17th FINA World Championships 2017 in Budapest, Hungary Photo / Foto: Gertjan Kooij
The Croatian water polo team at the 2017 World Championships Photo Courtesy: Beeldboot.nlGertjan Kooij

Croatian water polo player Ante Vukicevic has tested positive for COVID-19, leading to an early interruption of a national team camp last week.

Vukicevic, per reports, was not part of the camp that took place Aug. 10-15 in Korcula. But he had contact with athletes taking part in the camp prior, and while members from the camp tested negative (with some tests pending as of Tuesday), the camp was dispersed.

The Croatian Water Polo Federation released a statement (translated by Total Croatia News):

“The COVID-19 virus, which has unfortunately been present all over the world for half a year, did not bypass the Croatia water polo team, which was preparing on Korcula from August 10 to 15, with all the precautions taken. All players and members of the professional staff have acted to prevent it, and in agreement with Dr. Krunoslav Capak, director of the Croatian Institute of Public Health, a certain measure of isolation has been recommended, although some were not in close contact with the person who tested positive and is not part of the HVS delegation.”

Coach Ivica Tucak, who has piloted the Croatian water polo squad since 2012 and led the Barakude to the silver medal at the 2016 Rio Olympics, released a statement decrying false information over the possible spread of the virus within the camp. As of Aug. 14, Tucak reported that none of the members of the Korcula camp reported symptoms.

Vukicevic, 27, was part of the Croatian water polo squad that earned a bronze medal at the 2019 World Championships. He plays his club polo for CN Marseille in France. He finished fifth in Swimming World’s balloting for water polo player of the year in 2019.

Croatia had been preparing for a tournament in Sibenik against Montenegro, Italy and Greece at the end of this month, but that is looking increasingly unlikely to occur. Croatia returned to matches in June with a meeting with regional rival Montenegro.

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