PETALING JAYA: While most athletes heading to Tokyo would get vaccinated to at least have peace of mind, world No. 1 recurve men’s archer Brady Elisson doesn’t share the same opinion.
The 32-year-old, who edged Khairul Anuar Mohamed to the world title two years ago, has revealed he will be heading to his fourth Olympics without getting the punches.
It is not mandatory for athletes to be vaccinated but the International Olympic Council (IOC) has indicated that it plans to offer vaccines developed by Pfizer and SinoVac.
Elisson, who contracted Covid-19 last year, said he was uncomfortable with the vaccines having only been tested and used for a short time.
âAfter having had Covid-19 and the symptoms that I had, I would rather take that risk than the risk of a vaccine,â Elisson told Bloomberg in a recent interview.
Elisson added that he was also concerned about negative reactions if an athlete was positive.
âThere could be a sport that seems to be a bit tainted if a lot of people pull out,â he said.
With or without the jabs, Elisson will be the man to beat as he races for the elusive gold medal.
He came close twice in the team event, but had to settle for silver in London 2012 and Rio 2016. He also clinched an individual bronze medal in Rio.
The American also had to wait until the 2019 World Championship to clinch his first individual gold medal.
Held in Hertogenbosch, the Netherlands, it defeated Khairul in a thrilling showdown that was decided in a one-arrow shootout with Elisson hitting a 10v8.
The match had previously ended 5-5 (27-27, 29-29, 28-28, 29-28, 26-28).
And Khairul, who has won only once in their three meetings, will have the opportunity to avenge the blow.