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Boxing qualifiers reset due to Wuhan coronavirus cases

BY NICK GIONGCO

 

As the Wuhan coronavirus worsens, the 2020 Tokyo Olympics boxing qualifiers for Asia-Oceania will be held in March in a venue that will be determined by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) boxing task force.

A communiqué has been forward to national federations across the region detailing the new date of the slugfest: March 3-11.

The new site will likely be outside China as the virus is spreading quickly, said the task force.

“The BTF (boxing task force) would like to thank the Chinese Olympic Committee and Wuhan’s Local organizing Committee for their support and outstanding efforts in dealing with this extraordinary situation,” the letter said.

“The BTF is currently exploring alternative locations outside of the People’s Republic of China, and will immediately inform National Olympic Committee, National Federations and officials as soon as a new host is appointed.”

The Philippines, through the Association of Boxing Alliances in the Philippines (Abap) had already expressed its desire to assume the hosting rights as early as the second week of January when reports began to swirl about an impending outbreak.

ABAP secretary general Ed Picson has already forwarded the IOC about the Philippines intent to hold the qualifiers for the 2020 Tokyo Games scheduled July 24-Aug. 9.

The Philippine Olympic Committee is fully behind the hosting of the qualifiers with president Bambol Tolentino pledging his all-out support.

The other continental qualifiers in Europe, the Americas, Africa in the next few weeks and the World Qualification in Paris in May will go on as scheduled.

 

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