The upcoming wrestling Asian Olympic Qualifiers that was initially slated to be held in the Chinese city of Xi’an in March will be shifted to a different venue due to the outbreak of coronavirus in the country, United World Wrestling (UWW) President Nenad Lalovic confirmed.
“We will take a decision within 15 days. We are following the situation closely and we are in close contact with the Chinese federation and local authorities,” Lalović said. He also added that South Korea, Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan have emerged as the primary replacements that can host the Qualifiers.
The virus in China has infected at least 4,500 people and has killed 105 others. Several foreign governments are in the process of evacuating their citizens from China, especially the city of Wuhan, the epicentre of the outbreak. Earlier, the boxing qualifiers for the Tokyo 2020 Games had also been rescheduled due to the virus. The Asian Boxing Qualifiers was to be held in Wuhan in February, but has now been shifted to Jordan, with the tournament being held in March.
This is also the second wrestling event that has been cancelled due to the virus. The Oceania Wrestling Qualifiers was to be held in the city of Pago Pago, the capital city of American Samao, but had to be cancelled due to the outbreak in its neighbouring city Samao.
The other tournaments that have been cancelled
The other tournaments that have been cancelled in China include the women’s qualifying football tournament that will now be held in Sydney. The Tokyo 2020 women’s basketball qualifiers have also been moved to Belgrade from Foshan, and the Cycling Tour of Hainan has been cancelled.
Formula One’s Shanghai Grand Prix, to be held in April, is expected to be cancelled as well. The Diving World Series has already cancelled its China leg of the event that was to be held in March in Beijing, while the synchronized swimming event, that was to be held in Suzhou, is expected to get cancelled as well.