Chinese gymnasts pull out of upcoming World Cup in Australia due to Coronavirus travel ban

  • The restrictions on foreign nationals travelling from China were introduced in early February and extended for another week on Thursday.

  • The extension effectively rules out China’s participation at the 20-23 February World Cup, which offers qualifying points for this year’s Tokyo Olympics.

  • Among the 12 Chinese entries listed on the World Cup’s website are four-times world champion Zhang Chenglong, who claimed the men’s team gold at the 2012 London Olympics and bronze at the Rio Games.

Melbourne: The restrictions on foreign nationals travelling from China were introduced in early February and extended for another week on Thursday.

 Chinese gymnasts pull out of upcoming World Cup in Australia due to Coronavirus travel ban

Representational image. Reuters

The extension effectively rules out China’s participation at the 20-23 February World Cup, which offers qualifying points for this year’s Tokyo Olympics.

“It has been a very challenging few weeks for us all, but none more so than for the Chinese gymnasts and officials who have been training and preparing to come to Melbourne,” Gymnastics Australia CEO Kitty Chiller said in a statement.

“I have been in regular contact with the Chinese Gymnastics Association and its President, who informs me all of their delegation are well and have shown no sign of infection.”

“Despite this, we all have to respect the Australian Government’s travel restrictions.”

Among the 12 Chinese entries listed on the World Cup’s website are four-times world champion Zhang Chenglong, who claimed the men’s team gold at the 2012 London Olympics and bronze at the Rio Games.

Zhang’s Rio team mates You Hao and Liu Yang will also miss out, along with Xiao Ruoteng, a former men’s all-around world champion.

Chinese athletes in other sports have also suffered disruptions to Olympic preparations.

The entire Chinese women’s soccer team and staff were confined to a Brisbane hotel for nearly two weeks due to quarantine restrictions after arriving in Australia in late-January for an Olympic qualifying tournament.

The coronavirus outbreak has killed more than 1,500 people, mostly in China’s central Hubei province. Confirmed infections have risen above 66,000.

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Updated Date: Feb 15, 2020 11:55:12 IST