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China to resume hosting sporting events with Olympic 'bubble'-like restrictions

Sport is coming back to China after coronavirus imposed stoppage although expect the bio-bubbles to be back for the string of global events scheduled for the next few months.

Tournaments will take place in a closed-loop system to enforce a zero-COVID policy in China (Source: AFP)

Tournaments will take place in a 'closed-loop' system to enforce a zero-COVID policy in China (Source: AFP)


The Bridge Desk

Updated: 28 Sep 2022 3:17 PM GMT

When China stages its first big international sporting event following the Beijing Winter Games, it will recreate the Covid-secured Olympic bubble, with organisers describing it as a "roller-coaster experience."

The World Team Table Tennis Championships will start on Friday and last for 10 days in Chengdu, which was previously in lockdown and was also shaken by an earthquake earlier this month.

The competition will take place in a "closed loop" to comply with the rigorous zero-Covid restrictions that have seen the majority of other major sports events in China cancelled throughout the pandemic, much as the Beijing Olympics and Paralympics in February-March.

Once, an increase in coronavirus cases brought on by the omicron strain at the beginning of the year caused the competition to be postponed.

Then, with less than a month left, the southern city of Chengdu was placed under a strict lockdown that caused companies to shut down, schools to close, and inhabitants to be compelled to stay at home for more than two weeks.

Naturally, we also looked into backup plans in case we ultimately weren't able to make it, but Dainton said that the popularity and history of our sport in China gave him and the team "always a tremendous sense of hope."

In both the men's and women's competitions, China is the defending champion and has historically dominated both.

The home team includes the defending Olympic singles winners Ma Long and Chen Meng as well as the top two players in the world right now, Fan Zhendong and Sun Yingsha.

Apart from the table tennis spectacle, China will host the BWF World Tour Finals in Guangzhou which will see current world tour number 1 H.S Prannoy participating in it.

The Asian Games were scheduled to take place in Hangzhou, China, in 2022, but Covid forced a move to 2023.

Football's Asian Cup was slated to take place in China the following year, however, China has withdrawn as the host.

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