Olympic boxing hopeful Arisa Tsubata is used to taking blows in the ring but it is during her work as a nurse that she faces her toughest opponent: coronavirus. The 27-year-old juggles a brutal training regime in boxing gloves with long, irregular hours in surgical gloves at a hospital near Tokyo. Tsubata mainly treats cancer patients but she said the virus was a constant threat, with medical experts warning at the peak of the pandemic that Japan’s health system was close to collapse.

“We always face the risk of infection at medical facilities,” she told AFP.

“My colleagues and I have all worked under the stress of possibly getting infected.”

Like most elite athletes, the virus played havoc with Tsubata’s training schedules, meaning she welcomed the…

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