Coronavirus Causes China Olympic Swimming Trials Postponement

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Chinese swim fans - Photo Courtesy: Rob Schumacher-USA TODAY Sports

The Chinese Olympic Swimming Trials and National Championships have been postponed as a result of the Coronavirus emergency.

The event, due to have taken place from March 28 to April 4, has been provisionally rescheduled for May 10-16, in the hope that the outbreak of the virus will have been sufficiently contained by then to allow the event to unfold.

The news was revealed on Twitter through the Chinese swim fans account Chinese Swimming News and Results:

A video from Chinese TV network CCTV outlines the restrictions on human movements in China in place that led to the trials having to be postponed. The video may not be available in every region – for those who can see it, it is here.

Sun Yang Trains On

The captain of China’s national swimming team, Sun Yang, who is awaiting a decision in the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) case brought against him by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), has been training in his hometown of Hangzhou during the coronavirus,COVID-19, emergency.

Sun’s presence at Olympic trials and then in Tokyo depends on the verdict of the CAS, which is still pending after a hearing last November.

The 28-year-old achieved Olympic qualifying times over 200 and 400m free during the FINA Champions’ Swim Series last month but would need to back up at trials and has yet to qualify for the inaugural Olympic men’s 800m free and relays.

Sun has been training  behind closed doors at the Zhejiang College of Sports, according to CTGN – and that at a time when CHINADA, the national anti-doping agency suspended testing as a result of the health crisis in the country.

Global Athlete is among organisations to express concern that no anti-doping tests are being conducted in China  as a time of years when hundreds of tests would normally be conducted as regular checks, this season as part of tests with cleanliness of the Olympic Games on mind.

CTGN reported that Sun “says his mental state is right where it needs to be, and he’s paying a lot of attention to his physical conditioning to make sure the Olympic plan mapped out by his coaches is as successful as possible.” It quoted the swimmer as saying:

“I must keep training and striving for my personal goals. This is a painstaking process, and it might be harder than preparing for the Asian Games or World Championships, but I always want to prove myself.”

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1 comment

  1. Ed Burton

    Suspending testing, not suspicious at all.

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