The International Gymnastics Federation (FIG) and the local organising committee of the Artistic Gymnastics Individual Apparatus World Cup Melbourne confirm that the Chinese team will not compete at the event which runs from 20-23 February in Melbourne, Australia.
The Chinese Gymnastics Association has officially informed the local organising committee that due to the current Australian Government’s travel restrictions relating to the outbreak of coronavirus (COVID-19), the Chinese delegation cannot participate in the World Cup.
Early in February the Australian Government placed travel restrictions on foreign nationals travelling from mainland China, preventing them from entering Australia until 14 days after they had left, or transited through, mainland China.
An extension of these restrictions was confirmed by the Australian Government on 13 February, which will prevent the Chinese team from travelling to Melbourne for the event.
The FIG and LOC have worked closely with the Chinese Association for the last few weeks to put in place measures should the restrictions be lifted and all parties, while respecting the restrictions, are disappointed with the situation faced.
“It has been a very challenging few weeks for us all, but none more so than for the Chinese gymnasts and officials who have been training and preparing to come to Melbourne,” said Gymnastics Australia CEO, Kitty Chiller AM on behalf of the LOC.
“I have been in regular contact with the Chinese Gymnastics Association and its President, who informs me all of their delegation are well and have shown no sign of infection.
“Despite this, we all have to respect the Australian Government’s travel restrictions.
“It is a very difficult time for them and we share their disappointment and that of our spectators who won’t be able to see the likes of two-time World Champion, Yang Liu.”
FIG President Morinari Watanabe commented: “There are cases of force majeure that go beyond the scope of sport. We are extremely sorry that some of our gymnasts cannot participate in a competition for which they have been training hard, for reasons beyond their control.”