Badminton of China Masters postponed by virus outbreak

BEIJING: the virus outbreak in China has forced the first country badminton tournament of the 2020 World Tour the season will be postponed, organizers said Saturday.

The six days Masters of China It was due to begin on February 25 in Lingshui, on the southern Chinese island of Hainan.

But the organizers considered all the necessary health, safety and logistics risks and ... believe it is sensible to postpone the tournament at this time, said a statement from the World Badminton Federation .

Several players had already retired from the competition, the BWF additional. The virus that first appeared in the central Chinese city of Wuhan has caused 259 deaths and has spread to more than two dozen other countries.

Beijing has taken extreme measures to stop the spread of the virus, including the effective quarantine of more than 50 million people in Wuhan and the surrounding province of Hubei.

Wuhan is scheduled to host the region's flagship badminton tour event, the Asia Championships, in April.

The BWF said it was too early to "make any final conclusions" about whether to proceed with the event, which is one of the last chances for badminton athletes to qualify for the Tokyo Olympics.

The Masters of China joins a growing list of sporting events to be delayed or called off in the wake of the epidemic.

On Thursday, the LPGA canceled its 2020 Blue Bay tournament scheduled for next month in Hainan, citing health concerns and increasing travel restrictions implemented to curb the spread of the infection.

And World Snooker on Friday also postponed this year's edition of its China Open, which was due to start in Beijing on March 30.