Coronavirus: Major Table Tennis and Hockey tournaments affected
The Coronavirus epidemic has bought the sporting world to a standstill. Several sports like football, badminton, tennis and many more are facing cancellation or temporary suspension of tournaments.
The outbreak of coronavirus has claimed the lives of at least 7,500 people and has spread to over 160 countries and to safeguard interests of athletes and officials, the governments are either cancelling or postponing tournaments as the virus is increasingly spreading across the World.
The International Table Tennis Federation suspended all activities until the end of April, due to the coronavirus outbreak. The decision was taken considering the safety of athletes, coaches, officials and most importantly, the fans.
The suspension affects several tournaments as well as training and promotional activities. The tournaments that have been cancelled include- All AITA tournaments, BNP Paribas Open, Miami Open, Monte Carlo Masters, and French Open (postponed to September 20- October 4).
South Korea Open in Busan scheduled from 16-21 June has been suspended along with Australian Open which was scheduled in Geelong on 23-28 June. Also, the World Championship to be held in South Korea has been provisionally postponed from March to June.
The International Hockey Federation recently suspended the ongoing FIH Qualifiers till April 15 amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
The FIH said its decision was based on “information and recommendations from the World Health Organization (WHO) and the decisions taken by several governments and local authorities around the world.”
India is scheduled to play on April 26 against Germany in Berlin. The FIH is a home and away tournament involving nine countries.
In addition to the FIH Qualifiers, the 2020 Women’s Hockey Junior Asia Cup has been postponed due to concerns of COVID-19. the tournament was scheduled from 6-12 April but has been postponed to 5-13 September.
The Annual Azlan Shah Cup, which was scheduled to be held in Ipoh, Malaysia from 11 to 18 April, has been rescheduled to 24 September to 3 October. Ireland women’s tour of Malaysia in March-April cancelled.
The Olympics is scheduled from July 24 to August 9 and at a press conference, Japanese Prime Minister, Shinzo Able said, “We hope to overcome the spread of infections first and foremost and hold the Olympics as planned without a hitch.”
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