Olympic-Beach volleyball-Japan win opener by default as COVID-hit Czechs withdraw

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TOKYO (Reuters) - Japan's Miki Ishii and Megumi Murakami won the first women's match of the beach volleyball tournament at the Tokyo Olympics by default after their Czech opponents withdrew due to COVID-19.

Marketa Nausch-Slukova tested positive earlier this week, forcing her and partner Barbora Hermannova to pull out and hand the hosts a 2-0 victory.

Six members of the Czech Olympic team have tested positive so far and the country's Olympic Committee had launched an investigation into a charter flight bringing athletes to Tokyo.

Slukova, who finished fifth at the London Olympics in 2012, and Hermannova are the world's 16th ranked pair.

Slukova's husband and coach Simon Nausch, and men's beach volleyball player Ondrej Perusic, have also tested positive.

(Reporting by Rohith Nair in Bengaluru; Peter Rutherford)

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