Why are Brazil Olympic volleyball players playing in masks at Tokyo 2020?

BRAZIL are defending the men's Olympic volleyball title as they head to Tokyo.

And the women's team are also among the favourites to win the gold medal at the 2020 Olympics.

But one peculiar site from the games has been some Brazilians wearing masks even while playing.

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Why are some Brazil players playing in masks?

Three Brazilians have played volleyball in masks during the Olympics, Lucas Satkamp and Maurico Borges of the men's team and Macris Carneiro of the women's team.

Satkamp and Carneiro both said they decided to play in masks due to concerns over coronavirus.

Satkamp caught coronavirus while his wife was pregnant and therefore wore a mask to protect his pregnant wife, then continued with the habit after he had recovered.

He told Globo: “If I get infected with the coronavirus, I will spend a lot of time in isolation away from my child and my family.

"My first child, now I keep [it on] more for fear for my wife and child.

“I am used to training and playing matches with a mask.

"It not only protects me, but also the rest of my colleagues. I do not want to get infected with the virus again.”

Carneiro said she wears her mask at all times to encourage others to do likewise during the pandemic.

She commented: "I play with my mask on, because the mask protects myself and the people around me and I feel safer with it.

"I believe that it's important to wear a mask and respect social distancing during the pandemic. The mask doesn't hinder or bother me when I am on the court and this this is a way I can inspire people to keep wearing their own masks."

Borges meanwhile said he was so used to wearing a mask that he didn't see the need to take it off to play volleyball.

He commented: "For me, it's already become routine.

"Wherever we go, we have to use it, and it doesn't make any difference to me anymore, because the mask is very good, provided by one of our sponsors."

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