The new date of the competition is scheduled for June 21-28, but the situation will be monitored by officials in the coming months.
“Given the uncertainty and the changing situation in South Korea amid the Coronavirus outbreak across the country, the decision was made with the health and safety of players, referees and fans as a priority,” says the ITTF document.
The federation had already postponed the draw for the World Cup groups, which would take place last Saturday in Busan.
“I think the decision was correct, since South Korea is among the countries with the highest number of infected people, after China, and the risk is very high, especially in an event with players from different countries”, analyzed the president of CBTM , Alaor Azevedo, who is a doctor.
The new date affects the planning of players and technical commissions for the 2020 season. With the new calendar, the World Cup will take place less than a month before the Tokyo Olympic Games. In addition, the South Korean Open, which would also take place in Busan, between 16 and 21 June, and the Australian Open, between 23 and 28 June, will be rescheduled, but with no new proposed dates.
“People’s health is more important than the consequences for sport. I hope that the people affected by the virus will be able to heal, those in quarantine will not have any major problems and the situation will be resolved as soon as possible. However, it is difficult to know what this measure can impact. It is very complicated for us right now to create a clear strategy. We will wait and assess the situation ”, says Jean-René Mounié, technical consultant at CBTM and coach of Hugo Calderano, table tennis player number 7 in the world.
“I think we have to think about our health first. What is happening is very serious. If it were not changed, it would reflect a lot if I would go to that championship. We have to adapt to this new calendar. If we play a World Cup and then an Olympics, we can get into a good rhythm too ”, evaluates the coach of the Brazilian women’s table tennis team, Hugo Hoyama.
The other Platinum Openings, for the time being, remain on their original dates in the calendar. The next will be the one in Qatar, in Doha, between March 3rd and 8th. The Japan Open is scheduled for April 21-26. The China Open is scheduled for May 12-17.