Coronavirus puts Tokyo Olympics in jeopardy for some Chinese athletes

At the same time as Olympic officers insist the coronavirus received’t disrupt this summer time’s Tokyo Video games, it’s already threatening to stay some Chinese language athletes at house.

China isn’t sending someone to a gymnastics Global Cup in Melbourne this week, doubtlessly jeopardizing spots in Tokyo for 2 athletes. This follows the withdrawal of the ladies’s handball group from subsequent month’s Olympic Qualification Match, its ultimate probability to qualify for Tokyo.

The boys’s water polo group, in the meantime, awaits a call on whether or not it’s going to be allowed to compete at subsequent month’s Olympic qualifying event after the Asian championships, initially scheduled for remaining week in Kazakhstan, have been canceled on account of the coronavirus.

- Coronavirus puts Tokyo Olympics in jeopardy for some Chinese athletes

“The IOC is operating carefully with the Chinese language Olympic Committee (COC) and the Setting up Committee Tokyo 2020 to trace every qualifier tournament through which Chinese language athletes (or different athletes who’ve not too long ago been in China) are taking part,” the Global Olympic Committee mentioned in an e-mail Wednesday to USA TODAY Sports activities.

“The placement varies between sports activities and occasions, and the place there are affects at the participation of athletes, the IOC will paintings with the related (sports activities federations) to verify the ones affected have an even alternative to qualify.”

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That’s more uncomplicated mentioned than finished.

There are greater than 75,000 showed instances of the coronavirus, or COVID-19, as of Wednesday, and it’s been detected in a minimum of 27 nations. It has led to greater than 2,000 deaths.

On account of quarantines in portions of China, some Chinese language Olympic hopefuls have had their coaching disrupted. Even those that haven’t are discovering it tricky to get to competitions, with the USA and lots of different nations quickly barring access to non-citizens who’ve been in China.

There are a number of Chinese language groups and athletes that experience already secured their puts on the Tokyo Olympics. Swimmers have till Would possibly 19 and monitor and box athletes till June 29 to succeed in the qualifying occasions that may lead them to eligible.  

However different athletes’ hopes are pinned to competitions. Those qualifying occasions had been scheduled for months, and global sports activities federations and Tokyo organizers can’t merely put them on dangle when the Olympics are handiest 5 months away and mavens can’t expect how lengthy the coronavirus outbreak will remaining.

“The (Global Gymnastics Federation) is following the location carefully and is involved with the IOC referring to procedures in relation to nonparticipation of Chinese language gymnasts at Tokyo 2020 qualifying occasions,” spokeswoman Meike Behrensen advised USA TODAY Sports activities.

What the ones procedures are, the Global Gymnastics Federation (FIG) received’t say. Almost certainly as it’s hoping it received’t have to make use of them.

China has already certified four-person groups for each the lads’s and girls’s festival in Tokyo. However below the FIG’s qualifying laws, it might earn as much as two extra spots for each female and male gymnasts throughout the equipment and all-around Global Cup sequence, or the continental championships.

For the reason that equipment Global Cup sequence is an eight-meet festival, and 5 came about remaining yr, China must nonetheless be capable of safe one additional spot for each its women and men. Its gymnasts are 1-2 on nonetheless rings and asymmetric bars, making it laborious – regardless that no longer not possible – for an athlete from any other nation to leapfrog them with wins this week in Melbourne and subsequent month in Baku, Azerbaijan, and Doha, Qatar.   

However the all-around Global Cup sequence is handiest 4 occasions, the primary of which is the American Cup on March 7 in Milwaukee. If China misses even one of the vital all-around Global Cups, it’s going to have a tricky time compiling sufficient issues to complete within the most sensible 3 and declare an additional Tokyo spot.

The American Cup roster nonetheless lists Chinese language athletes in each the lads’s and girls’s fields, but it surely’s laborious to consider they’ll take part given the trip restrictions.

That would go away the Asian championships, that are Would possibly 2-Five in Tokyo, to safe that further 6th spot.

IOC officers and Tokyo organizers have promised that the Summer time Olympics will move on as deliberate. For some Chinese language athletes, alternatively, that might be little comfort.

- Coronavirus puts Tokyo Olympics in jeopardy for some Chinese athletes

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