Asian Team Championships and Asian Junior Championships halted but World Juniors set to run
By ALEX WAN – Squash Mad Asian Bureau Editor
Asian squash continues to be hit by the Covid-19 coronavirus situation. Two major regional events, the Asian Team Championships in Kuala Lumpur and the Asian Junior Championships in Qingdao, China, have both been postponed indefinitely.
The Asian Team Championships, which were due to be held at the end of the month from 25-29 March, was initially set to go ahead despite the virus. However, a discussion between hosts Malaysia and the Asian Squash Federation a week ago concluded that the event should be postponed in light of the new developments of the virus.
Squash Rackets Association of Malaysia (SRAM) Director, Major (Rtd) S. Maniam told the News Straits Times of Malaysia:
“It is unfortunate, but we do not have a choice as we are bound by the effects of the virus with several other events also getting called off.
“We are however still keen to host the event this year and the next possible window of opportunity for it would probably be in June or July when the PSA Tour is on its summer break.”
In addition to postponing the Asian Team Championships, Malaysian professionals has also been hit by a travel advise from the National Sports Council to have players pulled out from two PSA events in April – CAS International in Pakistan and SRFI Indian Tour in India.
It is no surprise that the Asian Junior Championships was called off though, with it being held in China, where the Covid-19 coronavirus first surfaced. The Asian Squash Federation do still intend to run it at a later date, pending the situation on the Covid-19.
The World Junior Championships, however, is set to take place after hosts Australia issued a statement earlier in the week welcoming 24 participating nations. A quick check with Chris Yeend, the PR and Communications Coordinator for Australia Squash confirms this and he added:
“Our team is in regular contact with those responsible for making decisions and providing advice on appropriate actions to take. If there is anything that changes, we’ve got the right info coming to us at all times.”
Amongst the teams who will be participating in the world meet is Republic of Korea, the worst hit nation outside China with over 7,000 confirmed cases as of press time. At this current time, anyone traveling into Australia from the Republic of Korea is required to isolate themselves for 14 days.
Over in Japan, they have had to call off their National Junior Championship which was due to happen from 27-29 March 2020. The National Training Spring Camp, scheduled to run right after the junior event, has also been called off.
On the popular Jumbo Doubles circuit in South East Asia, another event has also been hit – the 83rd Chiengmai Cup in Bangkok slated for 30 April – 3 May. After having the President’s Cup at the Tanglin Club, Singapore, postponed earlier, this is a double blow for the Jumbo Doubles enthusiasts.
Picture courtesy of ASF