Wuhan Olympic boxing qualifier called off?
Joey Villar (The Philippine Star) - January 23, 2020 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — The Philippine boxing team, concerned over health fears in Wuhan, China, gained some relief on reports that the Asia and Oceania Olympic boxing qualifier in the Central China city has been called off.

The Wuhan qualifying boxing matches have been cancelled due to fears over the new flu-like coronavirus, according to Reuters and Kyodo News of Japan sourcing it from organizers.

Reuters, however, also said the Tokyo 2020 organizing committee did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the matter.

The death toll from the virus in China rose to nine on Wednesday with 440 confirmed cases, Chinese health officials said as authorities stepped up efforts to control the outbreak by discouraging public gatherings in Hubei province.

Association of Boxing Alliances in the Philippines secretary-general Ed Picson said they have not yet received any official letter from the organizers.

Earlier, the Philippine Olympic Committee  supported ABAP’s plea to move the Asia and Oceana boxing qualifier from Wuhan.

“The POC shares the sentiments of ABAP regarding the situation prevailing in the site of the Boxing Olympic Qualifying event in Wuhan, China,” said POC president Abraham “Bambol” Tolentino in a statement. “The outbreak of a mysterious coronavirus strain is alarming and we appeal to the International Olympic Committee to seriously consider transferring the venue city and the dates of the tournament.

“The danger posed by possible contamination is highly risky and we cannot afford to expose not only our delegation, but others as well,” he added.

The letter came days after ABAP’s own letter urging the organizers to reconsider their decision to host the event in Wuhan.

Tolentino said the POC will support the ABAP if and when Wuhan decides to give up the hosting in favor of the Philippines.

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