Blitzbok forward Werner Kok admits he would still like to take part in the Tokyo Olympic Games despite signing for the Sharks.
Kok recently played in his 50th Sevens Series tournament as the Blitzboks finished winners of the Los Angeles Sevens in February.
However, after the team’s return to South Africa from North America, the remaining tournaments in Paris, London, Singapore and Hong Kong were postponed to September and October due to the global Covid-19 pandemic.
Meanwhile, the Olympic Games, which were scheduled to take place in Tokyo between June and July, have been moved to 2021.
This means that Kok, who signed for the Sharks last year, has effectively played his last sevens tournament. He was due to link up with the Durban-based team after the Olympics in August and will fulfil his contractual obligation, which will have him miss the rest of the Sevens Series.
Despite it becoming slightly more complicated, Kok admits he would still want to help the Blitzboks claim Olympic gold next year.
‘I still hope to play in the Olympics next year, but that is a whole new conversation now,’ he told the official Springboks website.
The 27-year-old was among the South Africans to be put into self-isolation after the Blitzboks got back from Vancouver.
The national government’s protocols at the time required all South Africans to self-isolate if they returned from abroad and the Blitzboks, who landed in Cape Town on Wednesday, 11 March, underwent Covid-19 tests the next day and went into self-isolation after that. They all tested negative, but the downside was that they had to do without their loved ones until the results were confirmed.
However, Kok turned this into an opportunity and posted a few simple fitness tips on his Instagram account.
‘I had some time on my hands, yes, and decided to do something that would benefit everyone,’ Kok said. ‘I love exercise and it was an easy thing to do. What I wanted to show is that you don’t always need gym equipment to exercise and you can use your body weight just as effectively.’
While, Kok enjoys the outdoors and particularly has a passion for fishing and hunting, he has found other ways to spend his free time.
‘I assembled an indoor driving range for myself and I will work on my swing a bit in this time,’ said Kok, who plays golf off a 19 handicap.
‘I will also use my backyard to continue with some running, mostly short sprints. We received a conditioning programme from our strength and conditioning coach, which I follow.’
Photo: Getty Images