Pneumonia virus in China scares ABAP

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    BOXING secretary-general Ed Picson is having second thoughts about fielding the country’s Olympic hopefuls to the Asia-Oceania Olympic qualifying tournament set Feb. 3 to 14 in Wuhan, China.

    “The situation is worrisome there,” Picson said yesterday, referring to the supercorona virus (pneumonia) epidemic that has broken out in the Chinese city.

    “We already have visas for our boxers and they are scheduled to leave on Jan. 31. But we also like to look after the health and safety of our boxers,” he said.

    Wire reports quoting the World Health Organization yesterday said the virus that began in Wuhan’s wet markets claimed its fourth victim yesterday, an 89-year-old man.

    Picson said the ABAP leadership will decide in the next few days whether to field a team to the Asia-Oceania Olympic qualifiers, depending on the situation in Wuhan.

    He added they had not finalized the line-up for the trip “since the weight divisions were revised, although all of the gold medalists in the last 30th Southeast Asian Games are in strong contention of going.”

    Among them are 2016 Rio Olympic Games veterans Roger Ladon and Charly Suarez, who won mints in the flyweight and lightweight divisions, respectively, in the last SEA Games.

    Also being considered are middleweight Eumir Marcial and female boxers Josie Gabuco and Nesthy Petecio.

    In the event they are going, Pinoy campaigners stand a strong chance of securing spots to the Tokyo Olympics since six slots are at stake in each weight division.