Several major sporting events in China and Asia have been postponed, cancelled, or under threat due to the coronavirus outbreak and now Asian Olympic Qualifier wrestling event scheduled in Xian, China from 27th March to 29th March may join that list. Chinese authorities extended the national new year holiday by three days to Sunday as the number of people killed by the new virus rose to 81, with almost 3,000 confirmed ill. The Chinese Ministry of Sports has announced that till the epidemic of coronavirus does not end, we should cancel all the sporting events scheduled. The Olympic Boxing Qualifiers in Wuhan was scheduled for 3rd March and it has already been cancelled by the International Olympic Committee (IOC). The Asian leg of Olympic Qualifiers of Wrestling can now become the next big event to be moved out of China. The event, which is set to be held in Xi’an from March 27-29, could be moved outside China. The President of the United World Wrestling 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,” Nenad Lalovic, president of the International Wrestling Federation, told AFP on Monday, with a decision to be made in early February. Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan and South Korea have all offered to host.
Asian Olympic Qualifiers – 2 Quota places were available in each category
India along with other top countries in Asia will vie for quota places at the Asian Olympic 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 in for Tokyo.
Other sporting events on verge of cancellation Formula One’s Shanghai Grand Prix in April 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 a field, Foshan, 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 for 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 23-25 is also in doubt.