The Japan Para Sports Association and Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic organizers moved to cancel this month's wheelchair rugby test event on Tuesday due to the coronavirus outbreak.
The wheelchair rugby test event, scheduled for March 12-15, is the latest sporting event to be cancel led in Japan as concerns mount over Tokyo's ability to host the 2020 Olympics scheduled to begin in July.
Test event cancelled as well
A boccia competition which was to double as a test event for this year's Tokyo Paralympic Games was postponed last month, whilst the Tokyo marathon on Sunday was closed to general participation with only elite athletes allowed to take part. The J.League also announced that all domestic soccer matches have been postponed until March 15, whilst Japanese pre-season baseball matches are also being played behind closed doors.
"The Japan Para Sports Association (JPSA) informed us the 2020 Japan Para Wheelchair Rugby Championships, scheduled for 12 to 15 March, has been cancel led," read a statement from Tokyo 2020 organizers.
"Tokyo 2020 nevertheless will carry out the wheelchair rugby test event in some form in April, after ensuring a safe and secure environment."
IOC and Tokyo 2020 organisers to go ahead with the event
Both Tokyo 2020 organizers and the International Olympic Committee have stressed that the Olympics, due to run July 24 - August 9, are scheduled to go ahead as planned despite the coronavirus outbreak.
"We will continue to stay in close collaboration with all relevant organizations as we prepare to deliver a safe and secure Tokyo 2020 Games," concluded the statement.