BSP-01 Table tennis world cups shifted to China in coronavirus restart

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TTENNIS-CHN-HEALTH-VIRUS

Table tennis world cups shifted to China in coronavirus restart

HONG KONG, Sept 5, 2020 (BSS/AFP) – Table tennis’s men’s and women’s world
cups and tour finals will be held in China in November, its world body
announced, in a rare instance of international sport in the country since the
coronavirus pandemic.

The men’s and women’s world cups are shifting from Dusseldorf and Bangkok
respectively despite a mandate from Chinese authorities banning most
international competition to prevent virus outbreaks.

No venues were announced for the world cups in mid-November or the tour
finals, which are pencilled in for December 10-13. The table tennis calendar
has been on hold since March.

“Ensuring a safe return to international table tennis has been our utmost
priority ever since the pandemic broke out and so I am delighted that… we
have managed to get events back up and running before the end of 2020,”
International Table Tennis Federation president Thomas Weikert said in a
statement.

The announcement comes just days after the World Golf Championships-HSBC
Champions in Shanghai, Asia’s richest golf tournament with a blockbuster
purse of $10.25 million, joined China’s list of cancellations.

Shanghai’s Formula One Grand Prix and all of China’s WTA and ATP tennis
tournaments, including the WTA tour finals, have been axed because of the
coronavirus, which emerged in Wuhan late last year.

The table tennis competitions will be held under strict bio-security
conditions, including a ban on breathing on balls and no handshakes after
matches.

BSS/AFP/SSS/0833 hrs