This month’s Oceania Wrestling Championships in American Samoa’s capital Pago Pago have been cancelled, due to the measles outbreak in neighbouring Samoa.
As reported by Radio New Zealand (RNZ), the Organising Committee said the health concerns of athletes in American Samoa and those having to travel through Samoa, and changing entry permit requirements for travellers, were the key reasons for the decision of United World Wrestling (UWW) to cancel the event which was set to double as a qualifier for this year’s Olympic Games in Tokyo.
According to the director of the Organising Committee, there was not enough time to move the event to another location, meaning it has been cancelled for the first time in its history.
In an interview to insidethegames UWW has confirmed the cancellation of the Oceania Wrestling Championships, due to open on January 30 and finish on February 1, will not have any impact on the Tokyo 2020 qualifying process for the continent’s athletes.
As already planned, an Africa and Oceania Olympic Games qualifier is scheduled to take place in Moroccan city El Jadida from March 13 to 15.
Earlier this week, Samoan opposition Member of Parliament Olo Fiti Va’ai repeated his call for the Government to launch an inquiry into the measles epidemic, which has cost 83 lives since its outbreak in October.
As of today, RNZ reports the number of confirmed measles cases in American Samoa stands at 12.
The Department of Health has said vaccination coverage of the targeted population had now gone up to 95 per cent.
But there are still 125 children requiring their first shot, with 525 yet to receive their boosters.