By Fatih Erel
ISTANBUL (AA) – Two international sporting events that were to be held in China over the coming months have been cancelled due to the coronavirus outbreak, officials confirmed on Friday.
In a statement, the Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) announced its decision to call off the 2020 Xi’an Open.
The tournament was to take place in the city of Xi’an in China’s central Shaanxi province from April 13-19.
"Our thoughts are with everyone in China during this difficult time and we look forward to the WTA Tour events that are scheduled to take place this fall,” a WTA spokesperson said.
"We are watching the situation closely as there isn’t anything more important than protecting the health of our players, WTA and event staff, and our fans. We continue to communicate with medical experts as information evolves on this virus, and we will work closely with them to monitor the situation."
The association did not give any details about the tournament’s revised schedule.
The 2020 Asian Olympic Qualifier for wrestling was the second event cancelled in China.
It was due to start on March 27 in the same city, Xi’an, but will now be held in Bishkek, the capital of Kyrgyzstan.
"We are glad to see that the Kyrgyzstan government and the Kyrgyzstan Wrestling Federation were able to step in as a suitable replacement for this important event," United World Wrestling (UWW) President Nenad Lalovic said in a statement.
"Moving an event this close to the competition date is not ideal, but we must consider the health of the athletes and ensure that everyone who wants to compete at the qualifiers has the opportunity."
The sport’s governing body said Chinese wrestlers eligible for the Olympic qualification event were sent to Serbia for an extensive quarantine process.