Olympic boxing qualifier suspended over virus fears

Boxers compete during their Boxing Road to Tokyo African qualification semi-final middleweight boxing match at the Dakar Arena in Diamniadio, on February 26, 2020. (Photo by Seyllou / AFP)

European Olympic boxing qualifiers in London were suspended on Monday over coronavirus fears despite an earlier decision to hold the event behind closed doors.

The Boxing Road to Tokyo event, which started on Saturday and was scheduled to run until March 24, will be stopped after the evening session.

Subsequent Americas and final world qualifiers, scheduled to take place in May, have also been put on ice.

The London competition featured around 350 male and female boxers from dozens of nations and was the first opportunity for boxers from Europe to qualify for Tokyo 2020.

The IOC (International Olympic Committee) Boxing Task Force said on Sunday that the rest of the event, from Monday, would take place behind closed doors.

But now it has been suspended.

“The BTF eventually took the decision to suspend the event today (Monday), amid increasing global travel restrictions and quarantine measures, in order to allow the participants from over 60 countries to adjust their travel plans and return home,” said a statement from the IOC.

Shortly before Sunday’s decision to move the event behind closed doors, the head of European boxing told the BBC he was “very concerned” that it was taking place.

European Boxing Confederation (EUBC) president Franco Falcinelli said he feared the risk of a boxer getting the virus was “very high”.

Organisers of the boxing qualifiers said before the event started that measures had been put in place to protect competitors.

“All of the teams have been told to adopt regular handwashing,” they said in a statement.

“If any of their group begins to exhibit cold or flu symptoms they are advised to

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Jennica Garcia calls against hoarding necessites

Image: Instagram/@jennicauytingco

Jennica Garcia called on the public, specifically the well-to-do, to refrain from panic buying and hoarding as consumers flock to groceries to stock up on basic necessities amid a community quarantine due to the threat of COVID-19.

Ako po ay nana-nawagan sa lahat ng mga Filipino na nakaangat sa buhay. Wag po natin ubusin ang laman ng mga tindahan. Maliit man o malaking bilihan. NOT EVERYONE CAN AFFORD BUYING A LOT,” Garcia said via Instagram on March 16. “Isiping mabuti bago bilin: Ilan ba kami sa bahay? Kailangan ba ang grocery ko ay sapat pang isang buwan o maari namang pang isang linggo lang muna?”

(I am calling on all the well-to-do Filipinos. Let us not hoard all the products from the stores, whether small or big. Not everyone can afford buying a lot. Consider before buying: how many are we at home? Should the groceries I buy be enough for one month or perhaps enough for just one week for the meantime?)

She also reminded the public that getting more than what one’s family needs shows how little their faith is in Christ.

Ang hirap po kasi ay kung sino pa ang siyang may pambili, siya pang nagiging gahaman,” she said.

(The hard thing is that those who have the means to buy are the ones who are selfish).

Garcia, however, was quick to say she was not generalizing everybody and only asked that people consider the situation of others, especially those who are forced to worK so they can sustain their families and pay their bills and debts.

“Hindi lahat ay may savings o emergency funds. Wag natin abusuhin ang pagkakaroon ng pera upang maging mapanlamang sa iba,” she said. “If the virus worsens in the country, the poor will not survive this.

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NASCAR suspends season until May but will reschedule events

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — NASCAR has suspended its season until May as part of the CDC’s recommendation to postpone gatherings for the next eight weeks because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The decision came after at least two Monday conference calls between the sanctioning body and its team owners. It affects seven total races — Atlanta and Homestead had already been postponed.

“The health and safety of our fans, industry and the communities in which we race is our most important priority,” NASCAR said.

The series plans to return to the track at Martinsville Speedway in Virginia on May 9.

“We intend to hold all 36 races this season, with future rescheduling soon to be determined as we continue to monitor this situation closely with public health officials and medical experts,” NASCAR said. “What is important now transcends the world of sports and our focus is on everyone’s safety and well-being as we navigate this challenging time together.”

NASCAR first said it would run last weekend and this coming weekend without spectators, but reversed course Friday and postponed the races at Atlanta Motor Speedway and Homestead-Miami Speedway.

NASCAR had not addressed anything beyond Homestead until Monday’s announcement.

IndyCar and Formula One both cancelled last weekend’s season-opening races, IndyCar has suspended the season through the end of April and F1 said upcoming races in Bahrain, Vietnam and China are postponed.

For most people, the new coronavirus causes only mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia. The vast majority of people recover from the new virus within a few weeks.

Indianapolis Motor Speedway early Monday issued a statement acknowledging the CDC guideline against gatherings, is planning for all contingencies, but also is prepared

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