The European Olympic boxing qualification tournament in London has been suspended due to the growing coronavirus outbreak.
The International Olympic Committee (IOC) Boxing Task Force took the decision on Monday to stop the ‘Road to Tokyo’ event which began on Saturday and was due to run until March 24 at the Copper Box Arena, east London. The competition was due to secure qualification for Tokyo 2020 for 77 male and female boxers.
A total of 322 boxers were set to compete over the duration of the 10-day Olympic qualifying tournament.
“The BTF eventually took the decision to suspend the event today, amid increasing global travel restrictions and quarantine measures, in order to allow the participants from over 60 countries to adjust their travel plans and return home,” the IOC said in a statement.
“The BTF will continue to evaluate the situation daily, aiming to complete the distribution of the remaining Tokyo 2020 boxing quota places in May and June.
“The BTF’s priority remains the qualification of athletes on the field of play, and it will inform all stakeholders as soon as more information is available.”
The subsequent Americas and final world qualifiers — scheduled to take place in May — have also been suspended due to the virus.
The IOC will hold talks with key stakeholders on Tuesday in response to the outbreak.
Information from Reuters contributed to this report.