Tokyo Olympics 2020: Asian boxing qualifier shifted to March

The Boxing Task Force (BTF) and the Chinese Olympic Committee (COC) jointly decided to cancel the Asia/Oceania Olympic boxing qualifying event due to coronavirus outbreak.

The Asian boxing qualifier has been rescheduled and is planned to take place between March 3-11. (Representative Image)   -  THE HINDU ARCHIVES

The Boxing Task Force (BTF) and the Chinese Olympic Committee (COC) on Thursday jointly decided to cancel the Asia/Oceania Olympic boxing qualifying event, which was scheduled to be held in Wuhan from February 3 to 14, due to coronavirus outbreak.

"In the best interest of athletes and officials -- after careful consultations -- the BTF and COC jointly decided to cancel the Asian/Oceanian Tokyo 2020 boxing qualifying event, which was due to take place in the Chinese city from February 3-14, 2020," said a letter from Wuhan qualifying event organisers to various stakeholders.

The event "has been rescheduled and is planned to take place between March 3-11." The BTF is "exploring alternative locations outside China and will immediately inform the National Olympic Committees, National federations and officials will be informed as soon as a new host is appointed."

Now, the African qualifying event in Dakar, Senegal, from February 20-29 will be the first boxing qualifier for the Tokyo Games.

India is a front-runner to host the Asian qualifying event. The Boxing Federation of India (BFI) on Tuesday had written to BTF chairman Morinari Watanabe, expressing its readiness to organise the event in case it was moved out of China.

The Indian Olympic Association (IOA) has endorsed the BFI move.