By Kristel Satumbaga

The Philippine Taekwondo Association has yet to receive an advisory from host country China on the status of the Asian Olympic Qualification Tournament scheduled in April following the health scare of the Novel Coronavirus outbreak.

Philippine Taekwondo Association official Stephen Fernandez (PSC Images)

Philippine Taekwondo Association official Stephen Fernandez (PSC Images)

PTA official Stephen Fernandez said Thursday that the Asian Federation has already written the organizers inquiring about the tournament’s status after several countries including the Philippines implemented a temporary travel ban to and from China.

“With what’s happening around the world, wala pang advise,” Fernandez said.

The Asian Qualification is scheduled on April 10 to 11 in the city of Wuxi, around 700 kilometers from Wuhan, the epicenter of the outbreak.

The tournament stakes two slots on each weight division.

Some international tournaments that China is hosting this month have already been postponed or move to another country including the Asian Oceania Olympic Qualification in boxing in Wuhan, Olympic women’s basketball qualifier in Foshan, Olympic women’s soccer qualifier in Nanjing, and Asian Indoor Athletics Championship in Hangzhou.

The basketball and soccer qualifiers will now be held in Belgrade, Serbia and Sydney, Australia, while the boxing qualifier will be in Amman, Jordan. The Asian Indoor Athletics meet was cancelled until further notice.

“For the last couple of years kasi, dun ginagawa ang qualification. Very active ang China sa hosting ng mga tournaments, so we’ll see how they will handle this situation,” Fernandez said.

Despite the development, Fernandez said the athletes remain focused on their training in the country.

“Tuluy-tuloy naman ensayo nila para kung sakaling malipat, handa naman tayo,” he said.

Taekwondo has been one of the sports with strong chances of producing Olympic qualifiers for the past years, showing its strength at the 2019 Southeast Asian Games with eight gold, nine silver and four bronze medals.

Source: Manila Bulletin