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Coronavirus decimates Asia's calendar

China Daily | Updated: 2020-02-12 09:03
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The chaos in China's sporting program caused by the deadly coronavirus outbreak, which has already forced China to cancel or reschedule a host of events, is spreading into Asia's sporting calendar.

On Monday, golf's LPGA Tour canceled the HSBC Women's World Champions and the LPGA Thailand.

Here is the latest rundown of Asian sporting spectacles affected by the outbreak:

Golf

This month's HSBC Women's World Championship in Singapore and the LPGA Thailand were canceled on Monday, meaning the LPGA Tour has been forced to scrap all three of its lucrative early-season events in Asia after China's Blue Bay tournament was canned 10 days ago.

The women's Asia Pacific Amateur Championship in Thailand next week has also fallen while the PGA Tour Series-China has been forced to move qualifying events to Indonesia and Thailand.

No decision has been made yet by the men's European Tour as to whether its flagship China Open in April will go ahead in Shenzhen, Guangdong province. The Hong Kong Women's Open, originally scheduled for next month, has been shifted to May.

Soccer

China has suspended all domestic soccer and postponed indefinitely the top-flight Chinese Super League season which was due to kick off on Feb 22.

The virus has had a big impact on Asia's continental competitions, with four Chinese clubs' home group matches in the AFC Champions League, which begins this week, postponed until at least April and May.

No decision has been made yet on Asia's World Cup qualifying matches next month. China is due to host the Maldives on March 26 and plays in Guam five days later.

A women's Olympic qualifying mini-tournament involving China, Chinese Taipei, Thailand and Australia scheduled for last week in Wuhan, Hubei province-the virus epicenter-was moved initially to Nanjing then to Sydney.

The China women's soccer team was quarantined in a Brisbane hotel for almost two weeks after arriving in Australia for its Group B matches but has been given the all-clear to play, and the delayed tournament will wrap up on Thursday.

Athletics

The World Indoor Championships, scheduled for Nanjing from March 13-15, were postponed for a year.

The Hong Kong Marathon, which was due to take place last weekend, was canceled.

Motorsports

The Chinese Formula E Grand Prix, due to take place in Sanya on the southern island of Hainan on March 21, was called off "after close consultation" with government authorities.

The Chinese Formula One Grand Prix, in Shanghai on April 19, and the inaugural Vietnamese Grand Prix in Hanoi on April 5 are also at risk, with world governing body the FIA saying it is "monitoring the evolving situation".

Boxing

A qualification event for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics initially scheduled from Feb 3-14 in Wuhan was rescheduled for Amman in Jordan from March 3-11.

Basketball

Last week's women's Olympic qualifying tournament, a four-team battle for three Tokyo places between China, Britain, Spain and South Korea was moved from Foshan, Guangdong province, to Belgrade, Serbia.

The Chinese Basketball Association has postponed the second half of its top-flight CBA league, which had been due to start on Feb 1.

Cycling

The Tour of Hainan from Feb 23 to March 1-a second-tier ProSeries race-was canceled by the International Cycling Union, which said the event could be rescheduled later in 2020.

Tennis

The Fed Cup Asia/Oceania Group I event involving China, Chinese Taipei, Indonesia, South Korea and Uzbekistan in Dongguan, Guangdong province, was postponed at the weekend and will now be played in Dubai from March 3-7.

Skiing

This month's men's World Cup races in Beijing's Yanqing district, the first test events for the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics, were canceled and shifted to Saalbach-Hinterglemm in Austria on Feb 13 and 14.

Aquatics

The Chinese leg of the Diving World Series, scheduled for March 7-9 in Beijing, was canceled.

Snooker

The China Open in Beijing, set for March 30-April 5, has been canceled.

Badminton

The China Masters tournament from Feb 25 to March 1 has been shelved, the Badminton World Federation (BWF) announced after several players withdrew. The BWF indicated that the Asia Championships in Wuhan from April 21-26 are likely to follow suit.

Rugby Sevens

The Hong Kong Sevens, the showpiece of the World Rugby Sevens Series, is due to take place in the city bordering the Chinese mainland from April 3-5.

A cancelation would mean 2020 would be the first year since its inauguration in 1976 that the famous event, which played on during the deadly 2003 SARS outbreak, has not been contested.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

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