(Adds quotes from team doctor)
* Athletes were first with confirmed cases of virus at Olympics
* Pair will be able to compete in slopestyle final, says doctor
By Jack Tarrant
PYEONGCHANG, South Korea, Feb 17 (Reuters) - The two Swiss freestyle skiers who contracted norovirus at the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics have recovered and have been cleared to return to training, a team official said on Saturday.
Fabian Boesch and Elias Ambuehl were the first athletes at the Games confirmed to have been hit by the highly contagious virus that causes vomiting and diarrhoea.
Swiss team media official Erika Herzig told Reuters that both athletes were feeling better and would train ahead of Sunday’s slopestyle qualification.
“Elias did not have too bad of a case. Fabian was a little worse, but they are both okay now and will train,” said Herzig. “We are very relieved.”
Swiss team doctor German Clenin stressed that although Boesch and Ambuehl had cleared the 48 hours quarantine period, they are training separately from other athletes in the build-up to the men’s slopestyle final on Sunday.
“The 48 hours of quarantine is gone,” Clenin told reporters after the ladies’ slopestyle final, won by Switzerland’s Sarah Hoefflin.
“But we did not want to mix them up with the other boys until the contest.
“They took part in training yesterday but separately from the other riders. They will compete tomorrow and I think they will perform nicely, we will see.”
Switzerland secured a one-two in the women’s slopestyle, with Mathilde Gremaud securing a silver medal to go with Hoefflin’s bronze and dismiss any notion that Boesch and Ambuehl’s illness had been a distraction.
“We just stayed away from them and it was fine. It wasn’t a problem,” Gremaud said. (Editing by Peter Rutherford and Sudipto Ganguly)