ABAP urges Wuhan to give up hosting
Joey Villar (The Philippine Star) - January 22, 2020 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — The Association of Boxing Alliances in the Philippines (ABAP) is hoping China reconsiders its decision to host the Asia and Oceana boxing qualifier for this year’s Tokyo Olympics from Feb. 3 to 14 in Wuhan despite the deadly pneumonia outbreak in the capital of Hubei province.

ABAP secretary-general Ed Picson yesterday said they have sent the organizers a request to move the event to a venue outside Wuhan or reschedule the competition until the situation improves.

Already, there were offers by other countries, including Thailand and the Philippines, to host the meet should Wuhan decide to give up the hosting.

So far, there have been no response.

“No advice yet. But we emailed them for reconsideration because it has started to get scary. We’re waiting for a reply,” said Picson. “In essence, what we would like is that they consider moving the venue and or dates. It will take some doing, but I’m sure most of the countries would be relieved,” he added.

But if the tournament pushes through as scheduled, Picson said they would have no choice but to take the risk and compete with an eye on claiming berths to the Tokyo Olympics slated July 24 to Aug. 9.

“Well, we have no choice. We’ll just have to take the necessary precautions if ever,” said Picson.

ABAP is fielding as many as eight boxers, including reigning world women’s champion Nesthy Petecio and World Championship silver medal winner Eumir Felix Marcial.

Also being considered for the Wuhan trip are Carlo Paalam, Rogen Ladon, Charly Suarez, James Palicte and Josie Gabuco, who, like Petecio and Marcial, snared the gold in the 30th Southeast Asian Games.

The Wuhan tilt serves as one of the two qualifying tournaments for the Filipinos to advance to Tokyo, the other one being the World Qualifying tournament in Paris in May.

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