Coronavirus outbreak causes tournament rescheduling

World 2020 Teams Table Tennis Championships in South Korea…

An outbreak of COVID-19, the coronavirus, in South Korea has caused the International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) to postpone the 2020 staging of the World Teams Table Tennis Championships which were scheduled to be held in Buscan, South Korea from March 22 to March 29.

Guyana Women’s Senior National Table Tennis Team. From left, are: Chelsea Edghill, JodyAnn Blake, Trenace Lowe and Natalie Cummings

This tournament has now been rescheduled for staging from June 21 to June 28.
A Guyana Women’s Senior National Table Tennis Team was invited by the International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) to participate in this tournament, and the GTTA had already nominated the following key players to represent Guyana: Chelsea Edghill, Trenace Lowe, Natalie Cummings, Pricilla Greaves and JodyAnn Blake, among others.
This tournament constitutes a key learning experience for these Guyanese players, as this is their first experience at representing the nation on such a stage.
National Table Tennis Coach Linden Johnson has said he is aware the ITTF will be announcing a changed host country for this event. He also noted that the GTTA would be implementing measures to keep the athletes active during the break, so when the competition officially commences in June, the players would be at their best.
Cases of the COVID-19 have risen to 893 in South Korea, and eight persons have so far died from this infection. The ITTF, in a release, has said: “In light of the emerging situation in (the) Korean Republic, and to best preserve the health and safety of players, officials and fans, the Hana Bank 2020 World Teams Table Tennis Championships in Busan have been postponed, with the dates of 21-28 June provisionally reserved. By continuing to work hard and in close cooperation with all stakeholders in Busan, the ITTF remains confident about putting on a great World Championships in June.”
For the Guyana side, these championships would have served as a great preparation for the continental Olympic Trials scheduled for staging from April 14 to 19 in Rosario, Argentina, and for other key international engagements.
The World Teams Table Tennis Championships are staged alternately on a biennial schedule, with the individual championships being slated for the USA for the first time.