Tokyo 2020 Olympics: List of qualifying events that have been cancelled or rescheduled due to Coronavirus
The Coronavirus outbreak has created havoc in the city of Wuhan, China. This epidemic has spread to about 25 countries all over the globe. Japan, Singapore, Malaysia, Korea and Germany are some of the countries that have been affected.
This tragic event has come at the wrong time as athletes all over the world are preparing for the prestigious Tokyo Olympics. As the death toll rises, the scheduling of many Olympic qualifying events have gone for a toss.
Keeping in good health and staying injury-free is the number one priority for all athletes, coaches and sporting associations. With the Olympics coming closer, no risks can be afforded.
Toshiro Muto, the Tokyo Olympics chief executive stated how he was seriously worried about the impacts of the Coronavirus on both the Olympics and the Para Olympics.
Rob Stull, the CEO of USA Pentathlon, stated decisions about how and if to proceed with the Olympic qualifying events in China are made by the various sport's international governing body upon the consultation of leading health experts.
Naturally, athletes are concerned too. Han, a Table Tennis player rightfully stated, "We are in favour of moving or rescheduling events in order to protect the health of athletes, as long as there is communication to the athletes and the athletes are included in the decision-making process.”
Here is a list of events that are rescheduled or cancelled:
1.FIBA, which is the international governing body for basketball decided to reschedule the upcoming women's Olympic qualifying tournament from Foshan (which is 600 miles from Wuhan) to Belgrade, Serbia. This tournament involved a team from Britain, South Korea, Spain and China.
2. Group B stage of the Women's Olympic qualification in Soccer has been moved twice. It had been shifted from Wuhan to a place called Nanjing that is 300 miles away. Now it is shifted to another continent altogether. It has been shifted to Sydney, Australia. It was the Chinese Football Association that took the call to not host this event due to the outbreak of the Coronavirus.
3. Between March 27-29, Xi'an was to host the Asian Wrestling Olympic Qualification event. But this has been rescheduled for a time later on this year. Wuhan was to be placed where the qualifying event was to take place in February, but now it has been shifted to March and the new location is Jordan.
4. The Chinese Ski Association along with the FIS ( International Ski Federation) have taken the call to cancel a two-race weekend at the same mountain where the 2022 Winter Olympics are to be held.
5. The indoors Athletic Championships which were to be held in February Hangzhou, China are now cancelled.
6. The Badminton China Masters tournament that is a qualifying tournament for the Olympics has been postponed. It was to be held between February 25 to March 1.
Luckily no players have caught the Coronavirus. The Olympic Organizers for Tokyo 2020 have stated, "Countermeasures against infectious diseases constitute an important part of our plans to host a safe and secure games.”
We hope all players stay safe and healthy before the biggest sporting spectacle arrives.Published 12 Feb 2020, 22:47 IST