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Busan mulling postponing ping pong world championships due to coronavirus

All News 15:13 February 24, 2020

BUSAN, Feb. 24 (Yonhap) -- The southeastern metropolitan city of Busan said Monday it is "actively considering" postponing the table tennis world championships it's scheduled to stage next month, in light of the fast-spreading novel coronavirus.

The World Team Table Tennis Championships are currently set to run from March 22 to 29 in Busan, 450 kilometers southeast of Seoul.

In this file photo from Feb. 21, 2020, Ryu Seung-min (R), president of the Korea Table Tennis Association, and Steve Dainton (C), CEO of the International Table Tennis Federation, attend a press conference at BEXCO in Busan, 450 kilometers southeast of Seoul, discussing preparations for the World Team Table Tennis Championships in the city. (Yonhap)

But like many other domestic and international sporting events in the country, the tournament has been affected by the deadly COVID-19, which had killed seven South Koreans as of Monday morning and infected more than 700.

Last Friday, hours after Busan reported its first two confirmed cases of COVID-19, the local organizing committee and the International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) were forced to indefinitely postpone the first round draw, which was supposed to be held the following day.

In a statement made last Friday, the ITTF said it and the Korea Table Tennis Association (KTTA) were "taking advice from the World Health Organization (WHO) and working with the Korean government to put in place the most robust health and safety measures."


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