THE new dates for the Asia and Oceania Olympic qualifier have been set, although the new venue still needs to be confirmed.

This, the first Olympic boxing qualifier, was due to start on February 3 in Wuhan in China. However the outbreak of the coronavirus, which has caused 26 deaths so far and infected hundreds, caused that city and others in the country to be placed under lockdown. The Olympic qualifier that was meant for Wuhan had to be cancelled.

It has now been rescheduled for March 3-11. It will take place in a location outside of China but the new host city is yet to be set.

In a statement the IOC’s Boxing Task Force (BTF), which is handling Olympic qualifying and the boxing tournament at the Games, said, “The BTF would like to thank the Chinese Olympic Committee and Wuhan’s Local Organizing Committee for their support and outstanding efforts in dealing with this extraordinary situation. The Asian/Oceanian Tokyo 2020 boxing qualifying event has now been rescheduled, and is planned to take place between 3-11 March 2020. The BTF is currently exploring alternative locations outside of the People’s Republic of China, and will immediately inform National Olympic Committees, National Federations and officials as soon as a new host is appointed.”

It means the first qualifier for Tokyo 2020 will be the African event, which will take place from February 20-29 in Dakar, Senegal.