The Asia and Oceania qualifiers for the 2020 Olympics have been cancelled and instead has been added to the final qualification.
The International Rowing Federation (FISA) confirmed on Thursday that it had cancelled the Asia and Oceania qualifiers for the 2020 Olympics and Paralympics, scheduled to be held in Chungju, South Korea, due to the threat posed by the novel coronavirus.
Subsequently, the FISA solidarity training camp for the 2020 Olympics has also been called off.
“The FISA/Olympic Solidarity training camp, planned to take place before the regatta in Chungju, is now also cancelled,” the FISA said in a statement.
“Discussions on arranging an alternative training camp or camps are currently taking place with the relevant stakeholders and will be announced when and if possible.”
The Asia and Oceania qualifiers have now been made a part of the final qualification regatta for the 2020 Olympics in Lucerne, Switzerland, which will be held from May 17-19.
Similarly, the qualifiers for the Paralympics have also been added to the final qualification regatta at Gavirate, Italy, scheduled between May 8-10.
“The number of qualification places attributed to the Asia and Oceania Qualification Regattas will not change and will be allocated based on results in the respective Final Qualification Regatta for the relevant boat classes to the eligible National Olympic Committees,” the FISA statement added.
Though the coronavirus threat may have increased in Italy as well, the FISA has deemed the situation safe enough to go ahead with the World Rowing Cup and the European qualifiers for the 2020 Olympics and Paralympics in the nation.
The qualifiers offer a shot at the 2020 Olympics in the single sculls for men and women as well as lightweight double sculls for men and women; apart from single sculls for men and women in para-rowing.
The Asia and Oceania qualifiers would have seen 2018 Asian Games gold-medallist Dattu Bhokanal in contention for a berth for India at Olympics 2020.
Indian rowers are preparing for the national trials on March 20, following which the squad for the qualifiers will be announced.
A maximum of 24 rowers can represent India at Olympics 2020.