British hockey coach forced to watch matches in his hotel room due to COVID

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TOKYO, JAPAN - JULY 26: Eugenia Maria Trinchinetti of Team Argentina and Julia Pons Genesca of Team Spain battle for the ball during the Women's Preliminary Pool B match between Argentina and Spain on day three of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at Oi Hockey Stadium on July 26, 2021 in Tokyo, Japan. (Photo by Alexander Hassenstein/Getty Images)
Spain's women's hockey team have been hampered by their coach being forced into hotel quarantine. (Alexander Hassenstein/Getty Images)

These aren't the Olympic Games that Adrian Lock, the English head coach of Spain's women's hockey team, envisaged. For him, these truly are the COVID games.

He no longer gets to take meals with his fellow coaching staff and players, albeit with plastic partitions in the dining hall in the Tokyo Olympic Village.

Instead, Lock's day begins at 7am, when a loudspeaker in his quarantine hotel room reminds him to take his temperature. 

He is then told when he can pick up his three daily meals, with 10 minutes to do so. He will need the energy. 

To compensate for not being on the sidelines, he then joins a four-way call with Spanish coaching staff, watching matches at the Oi Stadium on a laptop stream.

Lock, who has been Spain's coach for eight years, tested positive for COVID-19 at the weekend after a mandatory saliva test at the Athletes' Village. 

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“I knew it was a possibility, but I thought it would not happen, it’s bad luck,” he said. “They have not been the Games that I would have liked but I’m here and I can help the team."

He discovered the result on Sunday ahead of Spain's defeat to Australia and had to miss the team bus departure as he was immediately placed in isolation.

After several days adapting to the possibility of 10 days in quarantine, Lock was in place at his hotel room desk on Wednesday as Spain beat New Zealand for their first points of the Games.

With the video feed experiencing a 40-second delay, Lock admitted the final stages were "nerve-wracking" as they held on to win 2-1.

VALENCIA, SPAIN - JUNE 24: Adrian Lock head coach of Spain looks on prior to the FIH Women's Series Finals Valencia 2019 overcross match between Spain and Wales at Estadio Betero on June 24, 2019 in Valencia, Spain. (Photo by David Aliaga/MB Media/Getty Images)
Adrian Lock, the head coach of Spain's women's hockey team, has been watching matches on a laptop from his hotel room. (David Aliaga/MB Media/Getty Images)

Spain player Maria Lopez Garcia believed that Lock was "suffering a lot" at not being able to be on the sidelines. 

"He would like to be with us through all these games because we worked for four years," she said.

Lock said Spanish Olympic medical officials thought that his positive saliva test may have been down to him testing positive for the virus last month after he had his second vaccine dose.

The Englishman said he didn't have symptoms. 

"It's just the remains of COVID that's in my system from the last time I had it," he told Reuters. "It's not a re-infection."

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