HONG KONG (AFP) – China's badminton players have been cleared of the coronavirus and will play three tournaments in Europe during a "critical stage" of qualifying for the Tokyo Olympics, officials have said.
The Chinese Badminton Association said "no one is infected" and that the team would compete at the March 3-8 German Open, the March 11-15 All England Open and the March 17-22 Swiss Open.
"Since the outbreak of coronavirus, there has been close attention on whether the Chinese team could train and participate in tournaments," the CBA said on Saturday (Feb 22). "We would like to explain that members of the Chinese badminton team are healthy and that no one is infected or suspected of being infected."
Most of the team have been training in Britain since the previous week, and the others are still in Beijing applying for British visas.
Olympic men's singles champion Chen Long and Shi Yuqi, as well as veteran star Lin Dan, are listed as starters in Germany and at the All England, as well as women's world No. 1 Chen Yufei.
China has been the dominant force in badminton at recent Olympics, sweeping all five titles at London 2012 and winning the men's singles and doubles gold medals four years ago in Rio.
Covid-19, which has killed more than 2,400 people in China and infected at least 76,000, has forced a swathe of sports events in the country – including Olympic qualifiers – to be cancelled, moved or postponed.
Last week, the International Olympic Committee said it would send out information packs to assure athletes around the world that it is safe to come into contact with Chinese competitors.
The Badminton World Federation said "all relevant health, safety and logistical risks" around the ChineseRead More – Source