China in all likelihood will lose the opportunity to host the Asian Olympic Wrestling Qualifiers in March due to spread of Coronavirus.
A number of major sporting events have already been moved out of China, postponed or cancelled due to the Coronavirus outbreak.
The Asian leg of Olympic Qualifiers of Wrestling may now become the next major casualty. The event, to be held in Xi’an from March 27 to 29, might also be shifted to another venue outside China.
The United World Wrestling president Nenad Lalovic has confirmed that they are keeping close eye on the developments and may move the event out of China. “We are following the situation closely and we are in close contact with the Chinese federation and local authorities,” Lalovic has told news agency AFP. A final decision will be made in early February. Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan and South Korea have offered to host the event.
As the nation is fighting the deadly Coronavirus, the Chinese authorities have also extended the national New Year holidays by three days till Sunday. The death toll due to incurable virus has risen to 81, with nearly 3,000 confirmed affected by the virus.The Chinese Ministry of Sports has announced that till the epidemic of Coronavirus does not end, we should cancel all the sporting events. The Olympic Boxing Qualifiers, which were to take place in Wuhan from March 3, have already been cancelled by the International Olympic Committee (IOC).
India along with other top countries in Asia will vie for quota places at the Asian Olympic Wrestling Qualifiers. Each of the 18 Olympic categories in Men Freestyle, Women Wrestling & Greco-Roman will make 2 quota places available to Tokyo 2020 hopefuls. India already has booked 4 quota places for the Olympic Games slated from July 24 to August 9 in Tokyo.
Other sporting events on verge of cancellation in China include Formula One’s Shanghai Grand Prix in April. The motor sport competition heads the list of high-profile international sporting events that are set to take place in China during the months before the Coronavirus reaches its expected peak in early May.
Wuhan, the city where the virus was first reported, has lost Olympic boxing qualifiers to Amman, Jordan, and the women’s football qualifying tournament first to Nanjing and now to Sydney. Further Foshan in Guangdong province has seen the Tokyo 2020 women’s basketball qualifiers moved to Belgrade, while Hainan has cancelled Top Rank’s debut boxing match in China fight.
The Asian Indoor Athletics championships set for Hangzhou have also been cancelled. Cycling’s Tour of Hainan, which was scheduled from February 23 to March 1, has also been cancelled. The International Cycling Union said that it could be rescheduled later in the year. The diving World Series cancelled its China leg set for Beijing from March 7 to 9. Cornel Marculescu, president of the international swimming federation, told AFP on Monday that synchronised swimming’s China event, scheduled for Suzhou from April 23 to 25 is also in doubt.