Singapore, April 17 (IANS) The International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) has confirmed that the Australian Open and the South Korean Open have been cancelled amid the global COVID-19 outbreak.
“The ITTF is looking at a number of different scenarios and possibilities of rescheduling, but it is currently still too early to make any decisions until there is greater certainty about when activities can resume,” the sport’s ruling body explained in a statement, reports Xinhua news agency.
The Australian Open, which is a World Tour Platinum event, had been scheduled for June 23 to 28, while the South Korean Open was to take place between June 16 and 21.
The ITTF has suspended all activities until the end of June, while the 2020 World Table Tennis Team Championships have twice been rescheduled and are now slated to be held between September 27 and October 4.
“In light of the COVID-19 public health crisis and the increased restrictions on international travel, the ITTF has taken decisions in this period to suspend events, with the health and safety of the athletes, coaches, officials and fans as the top priority,” the ITTF restated.
The ITTF had tasked itself to ensure the 2020 world team table tennis championships will take place, “even if the event needs to be postponed again.”
The ITTF Executive Committee met late on Wednesday to discuss the latest situation regarding COVID-19, and reached a couple of key outcomes, including an agreement between major stakeholders, in an effort to ensure the 2020 Busan team worlds are eventually held.