Skateboarding

Canadian skateboarder headed to Tokyo as potential COVID-19 fill-in

Skateboarder Annie Guglia was flying to Tokyo on Friday to serve as a substitute for the street event in case a current competitor tests positive for COVID-19, coach Adam Higgins told CBC.

Annie Guglia set to be on hand in case current competitor tests positive

Canadian skateboarder Annie Guglia is heading to Tokyo on Friday to fill in as an event substitute. (Tiziana Fabi/AFP via Getty Images)

Skateboarder Annie Guglia was flying to Tokyo on Friday to serve as a substitute for the street event in case a current competitor tests positive for COVID-19, coach Adam Higgins told CBC.

The first athlete on the substitute list, Spain's Andrea Benitez, was already promoted to the main event after Dutch skateboarder Candy Jacobs contracted the virus, rendering her unable to compete.

Now Guglia, who twice tested negative before departing for Japan, could be close to competing in her sport's Olympic debut. The Montreal native missed out on Tokyo 2020 qualification at the world championships in June, when she was eliminated in the semifinals.

"The fact that she would be here would be amazing for her, amazing for the country. Hopefully it works out," Higgins said.

WATCH | Meet Canada's 1st Olympic skateboarding team:

Meet Canada's 1st Olympic skateboarding team

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This week on Team Canada Today, Andi Petrillo breaks down Canada's skateboard team and what the expectations are around the sport's Olympic debut. 7:38

Higgins added that Guglia might only be able to get in one practice session before Monday's competition.

Guglia, of Montreal, was only selected after Colombia was unable to send the higher-ranked Ana Maria Randon.

"The women's skateboarding scene in Canada is very strong and it's growing. ... Hopefully they can see their hero and one of our favourite skateboarders out there," Higgins said.

A trio of Canadian men — Matt Berger, Micky Papa and Andy Anderson — will compete in the men's events, but no Canadians qualified on the women's side.

Canada's Ryan Decenzo is also in Tokyo as a possible replacement.

WATCH | Olympic skateboarding, explained:

Sport Explainer: Skateboarding

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Duration 3:19
Skateboarding is a new Olympic discipline at Tokyo 2020. Get to know the sport. 3:19

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