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Boxing

Boxing Olympic Qualifiers called off in China owing to coronavirus outbreak

Boxing Olympic Qualifiers called off in China owing to coronavirus outbreak
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Published: 22 Jan 2020 11:19 AM GMT

The Qualifying boxing matches for Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games in Asian and Oceania, which were set to take place in China's Wuhan in February have been cancelled owing to fear over the new flu-like coronavirus, Japan's Kyodo news agency said on Wednesday.

Boxing preparations for the Games have already been upended after the International Olympic Committee (IOC) in June took over the competition and suspended the international boxing federation due to issues with its finances and governance.

The IOC have instead set up a task force, led by its member and International Gymnastics Federation head Morinari Watanabe, to organize the boxing events.

The death toll from the virus in China rose to nine on Wednesday with 440 confirmed cases, Chinese health officials said as authorities stepped up efforts to control the outbreak by discouraging public gatherings in Hubei province.

The coronavirus has caused alarm for its similarity to SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome), which killed nearly 650 people across mainland China and Hong Kong in 2002-2003.

Several countries have already stepped up monitoring measures for visitors coming from China, and the World Health Organisation will hold an emergency meeting Wednesday on whether to declare a rare global public health emergency over the virus.

The global boxing body has been in turmoil over its finances and governance for years with the federation $16 million in debt. It has also been split internally by an ongoing bitter battle over the presidency.

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